Work is well underway on Argyll and Bute Council’s second year of an ambitious three year roads capital reconstruction programme. The programme was originally valued at £21million and has this year received an additional £1.2million taking the overall 3 year budget to over £22.2 million.
The council is on or ahead of programme in several areas of the reconstruction programme including a substantial surfacing operation on the Island of Coll. Despite weather delays the first part of the surface dressing operation has now been completed in Lorn, Islay and Kintyre with the second phase in Lomond Cowal and Mid Argyll programmed for July.
Lead Councillor for Environment, Development and Infrastructure, John Semple said “The focus of the programme has been to help the roads network recover from the past few extreme winters with a mix of carriageway resurfacing schemes, patching, surface dressing and recycling. The council aims to give prioritisation to those routes which are likely to contribute greatest to economic growth and improved quality of life.
“This is all about fixing the roads rather than filling potholes, we have reversed the decline in road condition across the area and are already seeing steady improvements for road users. I am particularly pleased with the ‘right-first-time’ repairs and the dedication of our teams carrying out this work to such high standards.”
The work is being delivered using the council’s in house team delivering carriageway resurfacing and patching works across the council area except for on Mull, Islay, Jura, Coll, Tiree and Kintyre. These locations have had resurfacing and patching works delivered by the council’s contractual partner Breedon. Surfacing dressing is being delivered by Kiely Brothers who were awarded a contract for the council wide area. This is an important treatment which both seals the road surface from water penetration and increases skid resistance.
The council’s ‘Roads Maintenance and Asset Management Strategy’ is very much in line with Audit Scotland’s ‘Maintaining Scotland’s Roads’ follow-up report. Figures collated by the council show that over the last two financial years, 2011 to 2012 and 2012 to 2013, 12% of all council roads (A, B, C and unclassified) in Argyll and Bute have been treated. Some 27% (or just over a quarter) of all ‘A’ roads in Argyll and Bute have been treated although this figure will be even greater once this year’s works are taken into account. As suggested by Audit Scotland in their report, by concentrating most of the council’s efforts on their main strategic network, there has been a marked reduction in the need to carry out reactive maintenance on these main routes.