Revealed: Report finds a quarter of Edinburgh roads need resurfacing

NEARLY a quarter of main roads in the Capital are in desperate need of resurfacing works, according to new figures released today.

Tuesday, 20th March 2018, 8:15 am
Updated Tuesday, 20th March 2018, 8:23 am
Drivers have frequently complained about the state of roads in Edinburgh.

Research found up to 24 per cent of A-roads managed by City of Edinburgh Council fell into the “red or amber” category for repairs.

The report, conducted by the BBC data unit, revealed around 19 miles of A-road managed by the local authority was at risk of being declared unfit for purpose.

In addition, a further 20 per cent of B-roads and 25 per cent of C-roads were found to contain surface defects.

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Roads in the “amber” category are deemed to be close to requiring resurfacing, while those in the “red” category are in serious need of repairs.

Transport chiefs said improving the quality of the Capital’s road network was a “major priority”, though campaigners have called for further investment to be made in the interest of public safety.

Ian Maxwell, representative of cycling group Spokes, said the poor quality of road surfaces in the city was a “real deterrent” for cyclists. He added: “This is unfortunately the time of year when problems on the roads become more apparent due to the cold weather, and it can make conditions difficult for all road users.

“For cyclists, it can be a real deterrent, especially if you are having to spend what should be quite a pleasant ride swerving around potholes.”

He continued: “We certainly feel that road surface improvements should have a much higher priority but we understand the council are battling tough budget restrictions.”

An Evening News survey carried out in December 2017 found 71 per cent of residents rated the quality of road surfaces in Edinburgh as “very poor”.

However, Cllr Lesley Macinnes, transport and environment convener, said “improvements were being made” in the response to complaints over road quality, adding “several million pounds” had been invested in the network.

Cllr Macinnes added: “The quality of Edinburgh’s roads and footways infrastructure is one of the council’s major priorities, which is why we invest every year to maintain and upgrade the network. As these figures show, we’re making real progress to raise standards and we’re seeing the impact.

She continued: “By taking a preventative approach to road maintenance and tackling roads which are starting to deteriorate using less expensive treatments, we’re also able to improve more of the road network every year by delaying the need for more costly works.”

The report also found East Lothian Council to be the worst performing authority across the region, with 29 per cent of A-roads listed in the red or amber bands.

Midlothian and West Lothian ranked towards the lowest number of A-roads with major defects, with 20 and 18 per cent requiring work.

An East Lothian Council spokeswoman said: “The overall conditions of our roads have remained broadly consistent in the last few years and while the recent bad weather has an effect on their condition, we are continuing to invest in the maintenance of our network to keep East Lothian moving.”