Scotland is not sitting on a pot of gold, but a pot of potholes, with an estimated repair cost of £1.2 billion to fix them all.
A website –-www.FixMyStreet.com–can be used to report potholes and other roadway maintenance issues such as broken street lights; monitor repairs, and see how responsive local councils are to roadwork needing to be done. Currently, there are close to 14,000 open cases, with 7200 fixed/closed cases across the 31 council areas. Worst affected? Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Renfrewshire.
According to a report from the Scottish Government by the Road Maintenance Strategic Action Group, money to make these repairs has dropped 26% over the past five years as increased traffic and fierce weather have affected the state of Scotland’s roads, resulting in Scottish roads that were “significantly” worse than in England, and even some smaller routes deemed “unacceptable.”
A spokesperson for Transport Scotland stated that the budget for the maintenance of roadways has increased about £65 million, to £433m, for 2018/19. An Audit Scotland report cited 87% of trunk roads are in “acceptable” condition, and since 2007, over £8.2 billion has been invested in motorways and the trunk road network. Under consideration is the creation of one agency to handle the maintenance and repair of Scotland’s roads, bringing together the 31 councils with Transport Scotland to come up with a cohesive repair and maintenance strategy.
An alternative “take” on the situation was offered by Luke Bosdet of the AA, who said that “councils are taking in millions and millions of pounds every year via parking charges and fines….it’s now time to spend these huge amounts of money on filling potholes.”