Edinburgh council slammed for 'failing to deliver the basics' as Pothole Pete starts taking measurements

Opposition councillors have slammed Edinburgh council for “failing on delivering the basics” after Pothole Pete took his first measurements in the Capital.

Wednesday, 9th October 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th October 2019, 7:30 am
Pothole Pete.

The repair of potholes across the city is a major issue, with the state of the roads branded a “safety hazard” and councillors blamed for not ‘understanding the scale of the problem’.

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Introducing Pothole Pete who is on a mission to find Edinburgh and the Lothians' worst divots and potholes

Pothole Pete’s first trip onto the streets of Edinburgh saw him visit two reader suggestions, with one pothole on Magdala Crescent clocking in at nearly two inches deep.

Conservative councillor Jo Mowat said the number of potholes on prominent streets such as George IV Bridge was “disappointing”.

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She said: "Maintenance of the road surface is the basic responsibility of the council.

“It is disappointing that we still see so many prominent potholes in the city centre and that whilst there are so many big fancy projects going on, we are still failing on delivering the basics.”

Cllr Mowat added that the council should look at new and different ideas to potentially improve value for money when it comes to repairing potholes in the Capital.

She said: “We need to make repairing potholes a focus and we still don’t seem to have got there. We have a finite amount of money and it is our duty as councillors to be savvy and that we need to be repairing the roads in the most cost efficient way.

“If there is someone who does have a better idea then we should look at it and look how we get the best value for money.”

Liberal Democrat transport spokesman councillor Kevin Lang added to the calls for the council to ensure the roads are fixed quickly and efficiently and questioned whether the council fully understands the scale of the problem.

He said: “In my two years as a councillor, the state of our roads and pavements has been the issue people have raised most often.

“It’s not only dangerous but costs the Council a fortune in compensation payments.

“It’s why Liberal Democrat councillors presented a fully costed plan earlier this year to invest millions of pounds extra in tackling the backlog.

“It was so frustrating when SNP and Labour councillors running the city voted the plan down.

“I simply do not think they understand the scale of the problem.”

Cycling 'Safety Hazard'

Green councillor Gavin Corbett added that the pothole problem was creating a “safety hazard” for cyclists.

He said: “As someone who has cycled in the city every day, for decades, I find the condition of some of our roads intimidating and a safety hazard.

“At times the temporary repairs to pot-holes are almost as hazardous as the original hole.

“I think all cyclists and pedestrians would welcome safer road surfaces as well, alongside a dramatic reduction in traffic which causes so many of the problems of road condition in the first place.”

“This is completely unacceptable, but the Council has agreed to survey every footpath in the estate. The state of our roads and footpaths across the city, however, should be a daily reminder to us all of the impact of Scottish Government cuts to Edinburgh’s budget.”

A council spokesperson said: “Our roads team work extremely hard tackling poor and damaged surfaces and, just like other local authorities, in the face of increasing demands. This is a huge job and last year we invested more than £15m in road and pavement improvement projects and £3m fixing defects like potholes.

“Contrary to some reports, our independently-assessed road condition is actually improving, receiving its best rating since 2011 last year, thanks to our proactive approach to maintenance.

“However, we want to want to improve this further still - we’re aware of the impact potholed roads or uneven pavements can have on all road users, so we welcome any extra eyes looking out for defects. I would encourage anyone who spots an issue on any street to report it on our dedicated web page, so we can manage repairs effectively.”

You can report potholes to the council by visiting the council’s website here.