‘Limited progress’ over potholes

A TOTAL of 129 miles of the Borders roads network require urgent repairs, according to an Audit Scotland report.

The paper released yesterday says seven per cent of the region’s 1,843 miles of road need attention within 12 months.

It is estimated that Scotland as a whole is facing a £2.25 billion bill to fix its pothole-ridden network.

Chair of the Accounts Commission for Scotland, John Baillie, said: “It is very disappointing to see the limited progress made to improve road maintenance since we last reported on this (in 2004).

“A third of councils still need to develop road asset management plans, a fundamental requirement of good management. Far better information is needed on costs and performance.”

However, the report does note Scottish Borders Council’s leading role in a forum with neighbouring councils to look at how road maintenance services can be shared, such as providing staff to cover shortages in other areas.

Roxburgh and Berwickshire MSP John Lamont said of the report’s findings: “In this report, Audit Scotland has confirmed what every driver in the Borders and Scotland already knew – that we have some of the worst maintained roads in Europe.

“I am regularly contacted by constituents whose cars have been damaged by poorly maintained, and, frankly, in some cases, downright dangerous, roads.

“I know that Scottish Borders Council have been doing their best to repair the damage caused by the recent bad weather.

“However, it is clear that the national road network needs urgent attention, and we must be willing to consider radical solutions.”