Council commit to improving roads

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In the week that it was revealed the local authority paid out £30,000 in the last five years for pothole compensation, the Administration of Scottish Borders Council have recommended that an additional £2million of funding should be spent maintaining and improving the region’s roads in 2013/14.

The 2011/12 compensation figure is lower than in previous years but responding to concerns from John Lamont MSP, an SBC spokesperson said the council were “committed to maintaining its road network as best as it can”.

And this was will be borne out at a meeting today Thursday, March 28, when councillors will be asked to approve a total roads maintenance fund of £8.062 million for the 2013 financial year.

The Administration proposes to spend an additional £2.072 million on roads maintenance and improvements over and above what was agreed as part of SBC’s budget in February.

This follows the disappointing results of a Road Condition Indicator (RCI) for the region. The RCI is a critical indicator of how the carriageway element of roads assets is performing and it found that road conditions had deteriorated in the region with around 40 per cent of the network requiring investigation or maintenance treatment.

Councillor Gordon Edgar, Executive Member for Roads and Infrastructure commented: “This council is committed to maintaining high quality roads in the Scottish Borders and we are all aware of the state of the roads following the recent severe winters and wet summers.

“I am delighted that we are able to come forward with an additional £2 million of roads spending over and above what was agreed in our budget and this demonstrates the Administration’s commitment to do what we can to invest in roads when finances become available.

“The programme of works throughout the Borders is a very comprehensive list of road maintenance and improvements, which will touch every part of our region.”

As well as the additional £2.072million for roads maintenance, SBC’s Administration is also seeking agreement for an additional £86,000 to be spent on housing aids and adaptations, £75,000 for additional play area funding and £60,000 to take forward the development of artificial sports pitches in various Borders towns.