Comment: Roads repair figure will never be met

The figure which has been put on fixing Edinburgh’s roads will stun the city today. The fact, however, that so many of our carriageways are in such dire need of repair will surprise no-one.

Monday, 29th September 2014, 12:45 pm
Edinburgh's roads are littered with potholes. Picture: Comp

The condition of many city roads has deteriorated to such an extent that completing a journey without hitting a pothole can be marked up as an achievement.

We know today that the council has had this report in its possession for quite some time and that opposition councillors have been denied access, despite requests to see the full breakdown.

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The reason for that may have something to do with the fact that there is no way of funding such a huge investment in the road network.

It is a massive sum – a quarter of a tram line from the airport to the city centre – that with competing priorities will simply never be met.

While the council has pledged to up investment on roads, partly through looking to make savings elsewhere in its budget, this will only be a drop in the massive pothole of what is needed.

Now that this report has been revealed, we can be sure it will be scrutinised and transport chiefs pressurised to find a solution.

We don’t expect bowling green surfaces on every city route but motorists should be able to drive to the supermarket without damaging their suspension.

Ambitions to make Edinburgh a cycling mecca will surely only be met if those on two wheels can be confident of staying upright.

And what about the visitors to the city?

What kind of message does it send to tourists or for potential investors for a capital city to have such a poor road network.

Today’s leaked report is not a bombshell, it only confirms what every city taxi driver will tell you as you bounce around the city streets.

Edinburgh’s roads are ruined and fixing them won’t be cheap.