Feb 15 2013 by Craig Robertson, Kilmarnock Standard
More than £9 million is to be ploughed into improving the poor condition of East Ayrshire’s road network.
The cash will be invested over the next three years to fix potholes and resurface dozens of routes.
At the last count, the maintenance backlog stood at a hefty £52.2 million.
Councillors agreed the spending last week after being told that 40 per cent of roads needed attention according to surveys.
That’s above the Scottish average of 36 per cent with East Ayrshire Council in 22nd place out of the country’s 32 local authorities.
Extra investment over the last two years for frost damage repairs has resulted in the council’s rating falling from 24th place and the percentage needing work reducing from 45 per cent – a reduction which Council Leader Douglas Reid described as “significant”.
In a report,head of roads, John Bryson told members of last week’s Cabinet meeting that the funding would see the percentage of roads needing attention “improve slightly over the next few years”.
But he said it “will deteriorate slightly over the longer term (to 41.48 per cent) without a further increase in funding”.
Roads are graded green for those in a satisfactory condition; amber for those needing monitored and; red for those need action.
Mr Bryson said that in predictions of future road conditions, “it is noticeable that the percentage of road considered to be in red condition potentially increases from 8 per cent to 21 per cent over the 20 year period.
“Driver perception will therefore be that the road condition has deteriorated.”
A long list of A, B and C class roads will be targeted as part of the three-year programme of work.
Speaking after the meeting, Council Leader Douglas Reid said: “The council is approaching road maintenance in a focused way. We review the roads maintenance programme on an annual basis and this, in partnership with the additional essential maintenance required after the severe winters of 2010 and 2011, has resulted in a significant improvement in the national ranking for our roads network.
The spending on roads over the next three years – of £9,194 million – is in line with spending over the previous three years.
The lowest amout of spending in the last five years was £1.9 million in 2007/08.
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