Ambitious plans for multi-million pound investment in improving and maintaining Argyll and Bute’s roads, bridges and marine infrastructure and supporting day-to-day services for residents have been outlined to councillors.
At its meeting today (Thursday 2 June) the Environment, Development and Infrastructure (EDI) Committee considered progress on a wide-ranging programme of initiatives, funded by the council and partners.
Included in a range of roads and infrastructure developments for 2022/23 are:
- £5.4 million in improvements to bridges providing essential links between Argyll and Bute communities
- £155,000 to carry out upgrading on dozens of playparks across the region
- A £15.2 million scheme to provide flood protection to Campbeltown, supporting local businesses and protecting the investments in the town
- £900,000 to deliver an upgraded pontoon facility at Rothesay harbour, as part of plans to unlock the potential of the marine tourism sector
These projects follow on from a number of major infrastructure schemes already completed including:
- The £500,000 Lochgilphead public realm improvement scheme
- Introduction of a new £500,000 Lismore ferry to replace the old vessel
- £170,000 investment in a new fleet of low emission council vehicles
- £325,000 improvements to Tobermory’s sea wall and coastal protection measures
In addition, an extensive package of council-funded developments is also planned for the coming year including an £8 million programme of improvements to the road network, more than £10 million investment in various marine projects, a £1 million scheme to repair storm damage to Bute’s sea wall and the final phase of the plan to replace all streetlights across the region with energy efficient LEDs.
A report to the committee touched on the scale of demand for investment in Argyll and Bute’s infrastructure and so the need to attract external funding to the area. Demands on the council’s Roads and Infrastructure Service alone include maintaining a 2,300km road network, and 10,500km of public footway, running 39 piers and harbours, four lifeline ferry services, nearly 15,000 streetlights, transporting 3,000 pupils to school, and uplifting 3 million bins per year.
Policy Lead for Roads and Transport, Councillor Andrew Kain said:
“Argyll and Bute covers a huge geographic area – the second largest council area in Scotland and the highest number of inhabited islands. The sheer scale of operations that council teams manage is therefore considerable. This progress report is a reminder of that, and of the importance of additional, external funding for the area.
“Our Roads and Infrastructure team is responsible for a vast range of assets and services, crucial to the smooth running of our local communities and to the area’s economic wellbeing.
“Despite the challenges of the last two years, a great deal has been delivered already in terms of managing, maintaining and improving our key infrastructure. I look forward to seeing progress in these additional projects which will deliver further benefits for residents and visitors to Argyll and Bute.”