Edinburgh scores less than two out of ten for the state of its roads in new analysis

Edinburgh has been given less than two out of ten for road maintenance in a new assessment of Scottish local authorities and the value for money they give to council taxpayers.

By Ian Swanson
Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 8:55 pm

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And the Capital is rated overall as the second worst-performing council in Scotland in the analysis by personal finance website money.co.uk.

The study looked at official statistics on the condition of the roads, household waste recycling and local crime rates to arrive at its verdicts. Only Dumfries and Galloway was rated lower.

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On road maintenance, the Capital scored just 1.94 out of ten with 8.24 per cent of its roads classed as requiring repairs. That compares with Orkney which got ten out of ten, but is also in contrast to West Lothian which scored 9.03 out of ten with 3.35 per cent of roads in need of repair, Glasgow on 8.39 out of ten with 4.31 per cent of roads needing repaired, and East Lothian on 7.74 out of ten with 4.53 per cent of roads requiring repairs. Midlothian scored 3.87 out of ten with 6.31 per cent of roads needing repaired.

However, some councils were rated even worse than Edinburgh for their roads, including Highland which got 1.29 out of ten (8.81 per cent needing repairs), Stirling on 0.65 (9.74 per cent needing repairs) and Dumfries and Galloway on 0.32 out of ten (12.08 per cent requiring repairs).

Neil Greig, policy and research director at road safety charity IAM RoadSmart, said potholes and road maintenance had long been the top issue for motorists in their annual survey.

"Councils can do what they like with their money and some do choose to put more money and more effort into potholes. A few years ago Edinburgh said they were doing that, so these findings are doubly disappointing because they are saying that and yet people on the street are finding no difference – if anything it’s getting worse. Edinburgh council should be ashamed about its score in this survey.

Potholes are regularly the hottest topic among motorists.

"Edinburgh is a tourism gateway to Scotland and when a place looks uncared for people aren’t going to come back, no matter how good the attractions are, so Edinburgh council does need to look after the state of the roads – it’s the sort of thing people notice and remember when they have been on a trip somewhere.”

Money.co.uk used Transport Scotland statistics on the local authority road network for 2020/21 and applied an Excel “percentrank” formula which turns the data into a score out of ten. They followed a similar process with the recycling and crime figures.

And the final overall performance score was obtained by calculating the average score of all three variables, arriving at the final value score by dividing the overall performance score by the amount of council tax paid.

Transport convener Scott Arthur said: "There is no doubt the condition of roads and footpaths in Edinburgh needs to improve. As the city's new transport convener I'm actively discussing this with council officers.

Road maintenance was one of three criteria in the money-co.uk assessment of council performance. Picture: Lisa Ferguson.

"The key issue, however, is that Edinburgh is one of Scotland's worst-funded local authorities and we are actively campaigning to get Edinburgh fair funding from the Scottish Government to address the condition of our roads and the many other challenges which the Capital faces."

On household waste recycling, Edinburgh scored 2.9 out of ten with a recycling rate of 37 per cent – well ahead of Glasgow on 0.65 (29.6 per cent recycled), but significantly behind West Lothian on 5.16 out of ten (45 per cent recycled), Midlothian on 5.81 (47.3 per cent recycled) and East Lothian on 8.39.(52.4 per cent recycled).

And on crime, the Capital’s score was 1.61 out of ten, with 483 crimes per 10,000 people – better than Glasgow’s 0.32 (647 crimes per 10,000 people), West Dunbartonshire’s 0.65 (607 crimes per 10,000 people) and North Lanarkshire’s 0.97 (501 crimes per 10,000 people), but notably worse than East Lothian on 6.13 (338 crimes per 10,000 people) and Midlothian and West Lothian, both on 5.48 (379 crimes per 10,000 people).

Edinburgh’s overall score of 1.61 out of ten compared with Glasgow’s 3.12 out of ten, Midlothian on 5.05, West Lothian on 6.56 and East Lothian on 7.42.

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