Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Scotland faces a £2 billion repair bill for potholes; we should require Councils and Transport Scotland to repair to a higher standard

Dear All

Just round the corner from my flat is the bus stop which has a crater not out of place on the moon.

It has been ‘fixed’ at least four times by the Glasgow Labour Council of shame.

And it comes back deeper than ever.

Why isn’t there a requirement to repair road to motorway standards?

It seems that the preferred option is ‘do it cheap, do it several times’; this is a waste of our public money.

Temporary repairs are no substitute for proper repairs.

In Scotland currently it is reckoned that more than one-third or 12,800 miles of all routes are now in an unacceptable condition.

Audit Scotland has hit the nail on the head with their damning report which has shown in the past six years how the situation has reached alarming proportions.

Councils and national roads agency Transport Scotland are to blame.

We now face the prospect of a £2.25 billion maintenance backlog partly because the same repairs need to be carried out at the same locus continually.

And no one appears to be sparking to that fact.

Robert Black, the Auditor General for Scotland is now calling for a national review but we need to put in place higher standards of material.

‘Do it right, do it once!’

Black said:

“Members of the public are increasingly dissatisfied with the condition of our roads. The pattern of spending and scale of backlog means that the value of these public assets is not being sustained. However, by deferring essential expenditure on infrastructure, public bodies are storing up problems for the future and passing a greater burden on to generations to come.”

At my bus stop the ‘filler’ for the hole is all over the pavement, cheap crap.

Only 63% of Scotland’s roads are now in an acceptable condition, this is a major problem because a good road network is essential for business users.

We have to invest in road infrastructure now, it is a matter of being priorities right.

More than 30,000 Scottish drivers have experienced a near-miss while swerving to avoid a pothole, while one in four reported tyre damage caused by potholes.

This means the Council budget takes a hit, in the last 5 years; £5 million has been paid out in compensation claims.

Motorways have faired better but also suffered problems recently because of the snow in December.

The reality is that we also have to avoid ‘white elephant’ project such as GARL and the Edinburgh Trams project that Labour advocated; we can’t pour millions into luxuries while roads are on ‘bread and water’ rations.

Edinburgh Tram project, originally budgeted at a cost of £512 million, the tram system is now anticipated to cost over £600 million.

And I expect that to go higher.

This one project ate up 25% of the available money that could have been ploughed into road repair if the case was made.

The GARL project if the Labour Party had got its way would have cost somewhere in the region of £200 million.

One mile of track £200 million.

We have to start planning for the future today, sort out the real problems, avoid ‘white elephant’ projects and require Councils to repair roads to a higher standard so that repairs last longer.

A repair that lasts a few weeks is unacceptable, as is repairing the same problem continually.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


REV GREEN said...

Yes I am constantly reporting them , all they do is backfill them with wheatabix that lasts 3 days.

I have never seen so many manholes fail , this is nothing to do with the weather but is due to bad construction bad maintenance and or the DOT specs are wrong or not being enforced. The story of the weather causing this is untrue its years of poor quality dig ups and repairs which have let the elements in

Anonymous said...

Ask the lib/lab parties to get back the £1.6 billion that they gave back to london while they were in office at Holyrood