The condition of roads in the Capital have been labelled an “utter disgrace” after it was revealed that less than one quarter of repairs scheduled to be carried out this year have been completed.
The City of Edinburgh Council’s own figures have highlighted that almost two thirds of road and pavement resurfacing projects are unlikely to be completed by the end of the financial year in March.
Of 300 roads prioritised for resurfacing work this financial year, only 67 have been resurfaced so far. Council officers estimate this will rise to only 107 or 36 per cent of the total by the end of March – when the next plan is set to be agreed.
Liberal Democrat Cllr Kevin Lang said: “The condition of many of Edinburgh’s roads and pavements remains an utter disgrace. Communities are plagued by dangerous pot holes and broken surfaces, all of which present a serious danger to pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.
“It is deeply alarming to see how little of the council’s planned resurfacing work has been delivered so far. Worse still, officials are predicting that as little as a third of the roads and pavements prioritised for resurfacing are likely to be completed as planned.
“It is another example of the failure of this administration to get the basics right. It shows how wrong SNP and Labour councillors were to reject the plan to invest an extra £4.5 million into repairing roads and pavements.”
Tory transport spokesman , Cllr Nick Cook, said: “Residents will be appalled that barely a third of scheduled road and pavement works are due to be completed. This shocking failure to carry out necessary repairs will increase hazard for the elderly, disabled, drivers and cyclists over the icy winter months.
“Coming in addition to shambolic bin collection changes, public confidence in both the transport and environment convener and the director of place is quickly being eroded.”
Cllr Chas Booth, Green transport spokesperson, is also putting pressure on the council to up its game. He said: “Potholes and poor road and footpath surfaces disproportionally affect vulnerable road users like the elderly, disabled people and cyclists.
“It simply isn’t good enough that there appears to be such a backlog of repairs and resurfacing and I’m pressing the council to improve their performance on this.”
Vice transport convener Cllr Karen Doran said: “We’ve invested a considerable amount of money towards addressing the city’s roads this year – prioritising nearly £1 million in extra funding from the council’s budget to help us make further repairs.
“As a result, the overall number of outstanding road defects in Edinburgh has reduced, the number of repairs being made has increased, and we’ve delivered really important schemes which have greatly enhanced travel across the city.
“Last year was a particularly severe winter in the city in terms of weather, which of course had an impact on our roads, but we’re continuing to clear the backlog of repairs related to this and those which came before. We have recognised the need to increase the amount of carriageway works we undertake each year.
“This plan is already beginning to deliver improvements.”