Study finds 40% of Edinburgh roads in need of repairs

Captain's Road in Edinburgh. Picture: Jon Savage
Captain's Road in Edinburgh. Picture: Jon Savage
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Two in every five roads across the Capital need to undergo vital repairs, spending watchdogs reported today.

Nearly 40 per cent of streets should be considered for maintenance, according to Audit Scotland.

Potholes in Edinburgh's streets. Causewayside,Edinburgh. Picture; Neil Hanna

Potholes in Edinburgh's streets. Causewayside,Edinburgh. Picture; Neil Hanna

The study also showed conditions in Edinburgh had deteriorated faster than most other 
areas in the country over the past three years.

The city suffered a fall of nearly four percentage points in the proportion of roads judged to be in an acceptable state – the fifth largest reduction among Scotland’s 32 councils.

The report found that Edinburgh was the sixth highest spender on road maintenance, averaging around £10 million per kilometre.

But it dipped slightly over the three-year period to 2014-15, and the report estimated spending had dropped around £1m a year below the level required just to maintain current conditions. However, the Audit Scotland study noted that Edinburgh was among councils which had developed “preventative road maintenance 
strategies aimed at minimising long-term cost”.

Potholes in Edinburgh's streets. Picture; Neil Hanna

Potholes in Edinburgh's streets. Picture; Neil Hanna

A motoring group described the report as “a bit of a knuckle wrapping” for councils.

Tim Shallcross, head of 
technical policy for IAM RoadSmart, said: “Spending on road maintenance has fallen in Edinburgh at a time when the council is using a lot of money on extending its 20mph limits.

“Perhaps some of the £2m cost would have been better directed to road repairs.”

The city council said it had already changed its focus to ensure fewer streets fell into disrepair.

Councillor Adam McVey, deputy transport leader, said: “Maintaining roads to an acceptable standard is a key priority for the council and as such we are constantly striving to improve the condition of Edinburgh’s roads and pavements, ensuring as many repairs as possible are ‘right first time’ to reduce disruption.

“The council continues to invest significantly in improving Edinburgh’s roads network, and has recently agreed a new approach to make this investment go further by using new cheaper treatments on roads before they fall into serious disrepair, rather than only targeting those roads that require more expensive interventions such as full reconstruction.

“This means we can spread our money far more widely across more roads and bring the network back up to an improved standard more quickly.

“We also work closely with neighbouring Lothians, Borders and Fife authorities to share best practise, resources and buying power where possible. I would encourage the public to report any road issues they see.”