The Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee yesterday (4 March) endorsed a £10m roads improvement programme for Argyll and Bute.
This sum includes an additional £2.61m, approved in last month’s budget that has still to be allocated to work. A full, updated, programme will be presented to the committee’ next meeting in June.
The 2021/22 roads reconstruction programme includes schemes which are carried over from the current financial year. Covid, and the restrictions imposed on constructions works, meant no surface dressing was carried out in this financial year. However, significant preparatory work was undertaken.
Allocations for the 2021-22 roads reconstruction programme are:
Spend for 2021-22
Mid Argyll, Kintyre and the Islands
Oban, Lorn and the Isles
Bute and Cowal
Helensburgh and Lomond
Additional funding agreed in budget but still to be allocated to works
There is also an allocation of £487,000 for work on a retaining wall/structure at Breadalbane Street, Mull.
The overall budget is divided on the basis of the area of the road network. For example, there is a greater road surface area in Oban, Lorn and the Isles than in Helensburgh and Lomond.
The Roads Reconstruction Programme aims to arrest the rate of decline and provide an overall improvement in condition. The success of this approach has been demonstrated in recent years through independent evaluation, as outlined in the Annual Status and Options Report.
These improvements were achieved through the delivery of a mix of carriageway resurfacing, edge strengthening, patching/surface dressing and insitu road surface recycling. These treatments seal the road to stop the ingress of water, improve ride quality and reduce the amount of reactive repairs. Without this investment and works there would have been a significant deterioration in condition.
Councillor Robin Currie, Leader of the Council, said: “We accept that many of our roads are in a bad way and we have listened to our communities. This was reflected in our budget decision and as a priority we are putting as much resource as is possible into addressing the situation. With cuts to our capital budget, this limits what we can do with infrastructure projects.
“£10m represents a significant investment in our roads network. We are working hard to support Argyll and Bute’s economic recovery post-Covid. This includes showcasing Argyll and Bute as a great place to live, work and invest and improving and maintaining our roads is a big part of that.”
Full details of the programme are available in the committee papers.