State of the roads is up for debate

A pothole in Greenlaw
A pothole in Greenlaw

A call has gone out to the public to report fears over the state of the region’s roads, described last week as “horrendous”, to Scottish Borders Council.

This winter’s storms and floods caused in excess of £3 million worth of damage to Borders roads – and it was reported last week that only 40% of repairs have been carried out so far.

“We need a relationship with the public and we need to work together,” said Councillor Michael Cook. “They need to let us know where there are potholes and other defects so they can be addressed.”

But Mr Cook, who represents East Berwickshire, said Councillor Stuart Marshall was “misguided” to characterise roads in the Borders as “horrendous”.

After demanding details of insurance claims against the council by drivers whose vehicles had been damaged on potholed and defective carriageways, Mr Marshall blasted: “I am here to represent the motorists and cyclists who are suffering because of the horrendous state of our roads.

“Does Mr Cook really believe that a sticking plaster approach is in any way getting to grips with the problem or reassuring for the public?”

Mr Cook replied: “The council has made every effort to address this issue and, in February, we agreed to allocate an extra £1million to the roads repair and maintenance budget for 2016/17.

“The fact that relatively few insurance claims against this council are successful speaks volumes for those efforts.”

Mr Cook revealed that 136 insurance claims had been lodged against the council in 2014/15 – 25 were successful (the cost to the council £5,656). In 2015/16, claims had fallen to 82 with only six successful to date, costing SBC £2,100.