£2M road repair boost

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The Borders’ crumbling road network is set to get a £2million boost, provided councillors agree to the investment today (Thursday).

The additional sum is badly needed with figures showing more than 40 per cent of the region’s roads need maintenance or monitoring.

Environment and infrastructure executive member Gordon Edgar said he expected the proposal to be supported by his fellow councillors, which would bring the roads allocation for 2013/14 to £8million.

He said: “This council is committed to maintaining high-quality roads in the Borders and we are all aware of the state of the roads following the recent severe winters and wet summers.

“The programme of works throughout the Borders is a very comprehensive list of road maintenance and improvements, which will touch every part of our region.”

Of the £2million, £1.24million is provided by the Scottish Government for agreed surfacing works across the region.

In addition, £832,000 has been made available by 
the local authority from 
cash claimed back from Holyrood for work carried out on summer infrastructure schemes urgently required because of the wet weather.

This cash will pay for projects which are to be discussed by councillors at today’s meeting, but potential works include embankment collapses in Newcastleton and Upper Burnmouth, and a slope-stability scheme in St Boswells.

In the opposition Conservatives group’s alternative budget last month, they wished to see an extra £4.7million over five years invested in road maintenance.

Tory councillor Gavin Logan said: “I am glad to see the administration has responded to the opposition’s budget proposals to increase spending on roads. I suggested to Councillor Edgar back in November that there should be increased spending.”

The Borders has the fourth largest roads network in ­Scotland, as well as 1,200 bridges, a number of which require significant levels of investment.