£5m to be invested to repair roads across Capital

DOZENS of roads across Edinburgh are set to be brought up to scratch as part of a £5 million council spending spree to patch up the Capital's streets.

Friday, 17th March 2017, 7:21 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:25 am
A significant amount is being invested in improving the roads in the city. Picture; Lisa Ferguson

Repairs have now been earmarked for roads and pavements across all 17 of the Capital’s wards, with lights, bridges and cycling infrastructure also set to be spruced up.

Council chiefs hailed the move as a “massive” investment but critics and road users have hit back amid claims the city’s roads continue to be “blighted” by potholes.

The £5m sum tops up the council’s existing £75m pot and was made possible by a £10m ease in Scottish Government budget cuts.

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But Fiona Deas, co-director of Eagle Couriers, said she suspected £5m was a “drop in the ocean” in relation to the cash needed to bring the city’s roads up to scratch.

Ms Deas explained the condition of the Capital’s roads was a “constant” source of complaint from the firm’s 40-strong team of Edinburgh-based drivers.

She said: “Certainly from the reports we get from drivers it’s getting worse.

“I think Edinburgh citizens have had a bit of a rough deal in terms of roads in the last few years. We have had so much down time with the trams and the roadworks that have come along with that, then we have had the problem with the roads being maintained.

“I think it will take considerably more than £5m to get it right.”

Nick Cook, the Tories’ transport spokesman on the council, said the extra cash was welcome but added more should have been done sooner.

He said: “An extra £5m does nothing to hide the fact the council has over the past five years failed to maintain Edinburgh’s roads to the standards taxpayers should expect.

“Too many of our roads remain beset by potholes and blighted by poor quality repair work.

“An effective, long-term solution is required to meaningfully address this problem.”

Projects in the pipeline include the replacement of Burnshot Bridge, while strengthening work will be carried out on a number of routes including Princes Street and Lothian Road.

Lesley Hinds, transport and environment leader at the council, said the £5m spend would go a long way towards improving daily life for Edinburgh residents.

She said: “Taking all the planned capital and revenue spend together, we’re going to be investing £75m in Edinburgh’s roads, pavements, bridges, cycling infrastructure and street lighting in 2017-18.

“This is a massive sum of money and it will go a long way towards improving the condition of our city’s much-used infrastructure.

“The investment includes £5m of extra money, which we’re prioritising for roads, pavements, bridges, cycling infrastructure and street lighting because we recognise that this is extremely important to residents, and to the overall look and feel of Edinburgh as a whole.”