£2.4m extra funding for Borders roads

Workmen will be busy on the region's roads.
Workmen will be busy on the region's roads.

A review of the council’s 10-year capital plan seems to have resulted in an extra £2.4m becoming available to spend on improving the region’s roads.

When councillors meet next week, they will asked to approve the plan for the extra expenditure on roads.

The council’s administration proposes putting the £2.4m towards road and bridge improvements across the region in addition to the extra £2.5m over five years to be spent on roads as part of the budget agreed in February, representing a 14 per cent increase on the previous revenue budget.

Among the proposed changes to the capital programme is the removal of the Peebles 3G pitch project.

Council leader David Parker said: “We have assessed the capital programme at the six-month review and have been able to free up £2.4m for roads.

“We have recognised the need to invest in the network, and this seven-figure sum will be a significant commitment, on top of the 14 per cent increase to the roads revenue budget.

“Despite extensive work by officers, the failure to identify a suitable site for a 3G pitch in Peebles that is acceptable to all interested parties within the community has brought into question the overall deliverability of the pitch.

“It has therefore been recommended to councillors that the project is removed from the capital plan.”

Selkirkshire councillor Gordon Edgar, the authority’s executive member for roads and infrastructure, added: “Borderers will welcome this proposed injection of funding in roads, which would be used for patching in towns, villages and rural areas, drainage work, resurfacing improvements and bridge repairs following flood damage.

“While the council continues to be faced with ongoing financial challenges, the 10-year capital programme still has considerable investment in other key areas such as new schools, flood defences, sports facilities, visitor attractions, energy efficiency measures and transport infrastructure.”

A total of £1.978m will be spent on patching A and B roads (£400,000), short overlays (£200,000), drainage (£50,000) and resurfacing roads across the region (£1.328m). Money for overlays and drainage will target sites most in need.

Berwickshire roads included in the resurfacing programme are High Street, Greenlaw; Currie Street, Duns; West End, Chirnside; and Creel Road and Murrayfield, both in St Abbs.