Council puts forward plans for single road repair service

Proposals for single service in charge of every step of road repair process have been put forward. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Proposals for single service in charge of every step of road repair process have been put forward. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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CITY leaders are to consider new plans to improve the way the council tackles repairs on the Capital’s roads.

Among the proposed measures set to be discussed next week is the creation of a single road repairs service to be responsible for the “full journey” of repairs work.

We need to ensure our roads service is properly equipped and structured

Lesley Macinnes

Council documents state the new service would look after every step of the process, from inspections through to carrying out the repairs.

It is hoped this new combined operational arm of the roads service would allow “more effective asset investment decisions to be made”.

Transport convener Lesley Macinnes said: “Keeping Edinburgh moving by investing in our roads and pavements is a major priority for the council.

“But we need to ensure our roads service is properly equipped and structured so that it can successfully perform all its functions, including road repairs and maintenance and winter weather treatment.

“The draft roads services improvement plan will go a long way towards helping improve the standards of roads and footways across the Capital.”

However, the plans have been met with a degree of skepticism, with Green transport spokesman Chas Booth saying they would likely be regarded by many residents as “too little, too late”.

He said: “People think the city’s roads are in a terrible state and they’re right to be concerned – the council needs to take these issues seriously.

“While this plan contains much to be welcomed, it says nothing about preventing the damage to our roads and pavements in the first place, by reducing traffic, tackling pavement parking and discouraging lorries from our city centre – that should be the focus.”

Another key proposal is to procure a prime contractor to carry out major works on the council’s behalf in an effort to reduce delays to projects and securing competitive pricing. However, this is not expected to happen until 2019.

Cllr Macinnes added: “This will allow us the space to fully develop the procurement of the prime contractor and to help ensure careful decision-making on a key aspect of delivering an improved road network in Edinburgh.

“However, in the interim we will continue to invest capital funds in maintaining our roads through existing frameworks.”

florence.snead@jpress.co.uk