The £21million earmarked for roads improvements in Argyll and Bute over the next three years represents a ‘fantastic’ outcome to the council’s budget deliberations.
That’s the view of Councillor Duncan MacIntyre, Argyll and Bute’s spokesperson for transport and infrastructure.
Last week, the council agreed to spend £21m over the next three years on roads capital projects, and a further £18.4m over the same timescale in roads revenue funding.
“This is a wonderful outcome for everyone who lives in, works in or visits this area,” Councillor MacIntyre said.
“Despite facing the worst set of economic conditions for a generation, Argyll and Bute Council has been able to agree nearly £40m of spending on roads over the next three years. This is a significant investment which will make a significant difference to our lifeline transport network.
“This funding commitment represents the culmination of several years of hard work, and also mirrors the wishes and priorities of our residents with whom we engaged in one of the most comprehensive consultation exercises ever carried out.
“The money will allow for significant method and operation change as well as enhanced long term planning, which will reduce reactive works and concentrate more on structural and planned maintenance. “
Significant improvement to Argyll and Bute’s roads network has already been achieved through the council’s additional £3m of capital funding allocated in 2011/12.
The additional money committed by the authority last week allows for a total capital spend of £7m each year over the next three years.
In line with Audit Scotland’s ‘Maintaining Scotland’s Roads’ report of last year, Argyll and Bute is prioritising routes which are likely to contribute greatest to economic growth and improved quality of life.
Councillor MacIntyre said: “Our roads strategy kicked off with an initial three year programme which was heavily influenced by the need to recover from the effects of the winters of 2009-10 and 2010-2011, which exacerbated the impact of historical funding challenges. It was also designed to assist the movement away from reactive maintenance towards more structural maintenance together with enhanced routine and cyclic maintenance.
“The massive investment agreed by the council last week has endorsed the strategy and will give confidence to further supporting the 10 year improvement programme in line with Audit Scotland’s ‘Maintaining Scotland’s Roads’ report.
“I would like to publicly thank all officers involved in drawing up the budget proposals for their perseverance in addressing the need for a long term, sustainable and effective plan to improve our roads network over the next three years. I am delighted at the outcome, and very much look forward to seeing the improvements on the ground that this huge amount of money will bring.”