Road repair cash warning issued to councillors

Unless the council invests heavily in road repairs, almost two-thirds of the road network will be in an unacceptable condition in 20 years.

Councillors were told at a meeting this morning (Thursday) that even increasing spending on repairs and resurfacing to £4.3mmillion a year would only maintain the existing road conditions.

According to the most recent assessment, 790 miles of Borders road are in an unacceptable condition, and if the current core budget is not increased then in 20 years 1,180miles will be classed as unacceptable.

Members of the environment and infrastructure committee were asked to agree that a road asset management plan be considered as part of the budget setting process in February.

A report before councillors stated that over the last five years the condition of the region’s roads has declined by over five per cent, matched by increased dissatisfaction from council ‘customers’.

The report added: “To eliminate all Red and Amber (most serious) defects, a one-off investment to fully eliminate the backlog would require an investment of around £65m.”

It went on: “The current budget spend plans cannot begin to address the wholesale removal of defects.”

However, the report concluded: “The preferred option is a programme of planned sustainable investment that balances affordability with a stabilisation of the decline in road condition.”