MSPs call for £100m to spend on tackling pothole crisis now before it is too late

New stats found more than 25 per cent of Scotland's roads are in an unsatisfactory state
New stats found more than 25 per cent of Scotland's roads are in an unsatisfactory state
0
Have your say

A £100 million war chest needed to tackle the crumbling state of Scotland’s roads has been called for by MSPs.

It comes amid growing concerns over potholes and poor surfaces damaging cars and endangering cyclists and those on motorbikes.

And there are fears the recent severe weather has now made repair even more difficult, meaning that Scotland’s roads face a crisis.

Recent statistics suggest that more than a quarter of the country’s roads are in an unsatisfactory state, MSPs heard during a Holyrood debate yesterday.

And the Tories unveiled plans for a £100m Roads Maintenance Fund over the term of the next Scottish Parliament.

Conservative transport spokesman Jamie Greene said the roads fund was the “right thing to do.”

He added: “We all rely on our roads but they are now plagued with potholes and poor road surfaces which is not just damaging cars but endangering cyclists and motorcyclists.

“Beyond our concerns for public safety, this systematic under-investment is slowing our economy and costing local councils a fortune in compensation for car 
owners.”

Local councils would be able to bid for cash from the roads funds to repair potholes across the country.

The party say it would be enough to repair nearly two million potholes over the course of the Parliament.

According to data unearthed by the Tories, Scotland has a combined 153,310 potholes at a total depth of 6,354 metres. While recent statistics suggest that more than a quarter of the country’s roads are in an unsatisfactory state.

Local authorities have paid out over £2m in pothole compensation claims to motorists over the last ten years, while maintenance funding for roads has been reduced by 20 per cent.

Transport Secretary Humza Yousaf said £8.2 billion had been invested in roads since 2007 and there had been an increase in 2018/19 budget of £65 million in the maintenance budget.

But he admitted it had been “challenging” for councils and road maintenance funds “fell far short of what it should have been” in recent years.