Road Improvements in Argyll and Bute

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Published Date: 

25 Oct 2012 - 16:39

An Audit Scotland report is highlighting the excellent progress made by Argyll and Bute Council on the road network.  It comes after an audit on all 32 Scottish councils carried out in 2004 which was followed up in 2011 and another audit was carried out earlier this year.

The council increased the budget allocated for roads reconstruction in the capital plan in February of this year to £21 million for 2012-15 and is now spending more money on structural and planned maintenance rather than reactive works. The report suggests there may be a risk the budget will not meet the requirement of the road network however it recognises the council has a long term roads asset management strategy in place to make things better over the coming years. It also suggests benchmarking is improved to allow the council’s performance to be compared to other local authorities.

Both of these issues have been addressed today (Thu 25 October) as the council has approved the roads asset management and maintenance strategy.

Lead Councillor for Development and Infrastructure, John Semple, said “This strategy will help to reduce the need for reactive maintenance on council roads. It will prioritise routes based on the how road condition affects the local economy and the quality of life for local people and will maximise the impact of works on the road condition whilst making the best use of available resources. A three year roads recovery programme of works which largely focuses on surface treatments will be progressed and a ten year improvement programme developed.”

“It is our job to make sure the road network is sustainable and available for the safety and convenience of local people, visitors and businesses. After all our road network is the largest and most valuable community asset we have which impacts on everyone.

“I am pleased the winter maintenance policy has been agreed after some severe weather over the past couple of years and I am confident we can deal with whatever comes our way.

“The figures speak for themselves when it comes to the progress we are already making on the roads reconstruction programme for 2012 / 13. At October 1 2012 it was already around 85% complete. By 2015 more than half of the A class roads in the area will be upgraded as will 30% of B class roads.”

The council has also approved a policy for bringing private roads up to standard in Argyll and Bute. There are 87.5 kilometres of unadopted roads and the council will, in exceptional circumstances consider adopting a road if it is in the public interest. A full business case must be prepared before any decision is made.