Lothian MSP says Scotland’s streets ‘plagued by potholes’ as figures reveal five-fold increase since 2007
The number of potholes on Scotland’s trunk roads has increased five-fold since the SNP came to power.
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Figures show a total of 3,981 potholes were reported in 2007, when the first SNP government was formed, but by 2020-21 the figure had soared to 20,988.
Scottish Tory local government spokesman Miles Briggs claimed Scotland’s streets were “plagued by potholes”.
And he called on the Scottish Government to set up a £200 million pothole fund, as proposed in the Scottish Conservative manifesto for the Holyrood elections in May, to finance road maintenance over the next five years.
Mr Briggs, a Lothian Tory MSP, said the figures, published in a written answer to him over the weekend, revealed the “stark decline” in the state of Scotland’s roads under the SNP.
He said: “Streets all over the country are plagued by potholes. The impact on family finances is substantial, driving up the costs of owning a car.
“We are calling for a £200 million pothole fund over the course of the Parliament so that local areas can take direct action to halt the spiralling condition of our roads under the SNP.”
And he said independent research showed fundin for councils, who have to maintain local roads, had been reduced by almost £300 million since 2013-14. “The Scottish Conservatives would deliver more power to communities and reverse the last 14 years of SNP centralisation and cuts to local services.”
Transport Minister Graeme Dey said the Scottish Government fully funded the inspection and repair of all high-risk “category one” defects on the trunk road network, including vandalism, flooding, spills and potholes, but did not have figures to show the cost of repairing potholes specifically.
He said: “Since 2007, this government has invested £4.35 billion in managing, maintaining, and safely operating the Scottish trunk road and motorway network. In 2021-22, we will invest £529 million, an increase of £59 million from 2020-21.
“The budget for structural repairs and network strengthening of trunk roads and bridges, including the Forth Road Bridge, is being increased by £46.5 million in 2021-22 to £207 million. The budget for routine and winter maintenance of trunk roads is being increased by £12.5 million to £106.9 million.
“We will continue to invest in our extensive trunk road maintenance and operations programmes, to improve Scotland’s road network.”