Roads investment continues to bring improvement

Published Date: 

3 Dec 2020 - 14:14

Ongoing investment in Argyll and Bute’s roads continues to show some improvements in the overall network condition.

As a result, Argyll and Bute remains in the top five fastest improving Scottish Local Authorities in terms of road condition.

The council’s Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee endorsed the Annual Status and Options Report (ASOR) this week. The ASOR summarises the council’s road assets as at April 2020 and sets out future investment options to be considered.

The council approved a £6.2m investment programme for roads reconstruction in the February budget. Investment in our roads increased to around £1.7m following a successful bid to the Scottish Timber Transport Scheme (STTS) of £1.227m.

This year’s capital road works programme was delayed by three months by COVID-19 and so the 2020-21 road reconstruction budget prioritises work supported by the Scottish Timber Transport Scheme. Surface Dressing Works were delayed until 2021-22 because colder, wetter weather prevents the surface dressing materials from being as effective.

Road surfaces in poorer condition will be treated to protect from further damage over the winter.

Local residents and businesses will benefit thanks to the STTS works being carried out, with roads improved through the joint funding between the council and STTF in the following locations:

  • A816 Lochgilphead – Oban strategic route;
  • Lochawe haulage routes- B840, C30 and C29;

  • Kintyre B842; and

  • B8000 Strathlachlan, Cowal.

Councillor Rory Colville, Policy Lead for Roads and Infrastructure Services, said: “Maintaining our roads is challenging, but vital for businesses and our communities. Nearly one third of our network is made up of unclassified roads, over 80% of the network is in rural areas and 23% are over peat, which costs more for construction and maintenance.

“We continue to invest as much as we can to maintain our roads and to lever in additional money where possible. The fact is, it takes £8m investment each year to keep our roads in their current condition. We do all we can to invest wisely, and where it will make the biggest difference.

“Making other savings, for example moving to LED street lighting has reduced use of electricity by 50%, helps us reinvest in other assets and supports our efforts to reduce carbon emissions.”