• Ayrshire Daily News

East Ayrshire road repair fund trebles to £6 million

East Ayrshire councillors will set their annual budget next week, considering a range of proposals, with road repairs and maintenance firmly at the top of the agenda.

The proposed Council budget for 2018/19 would see an extra £4 million of additional funds for road repairs to be undertaken by the Ayrshire Roads Alliance – increasing their 2018/19 figure from £2 million to £6 million.  Councillors will meet to consider this and other proposals on Thursday 22 February.

The huge increase in investment recognises that local road conditions have deteriorated considerably due to sustained severe weather. 

The Council acknowledges recent public feedback and believes that a comprehensive repair and maintenance programme is needed to recover the position.

Stewart Turner, Head of Ayrshire Roads Alliance explained: “Potholes and worsening road conditions are a national problem, but we’re taking action to restore local roads to a safe standard.

“To do that, we need to increase the level of investment in our roads, moving away from reactive pothole patching to towards planned work through resurfacing.

“The additional £4 million for our repairs budget is an unprecedented increase – and an incredibly good news story for East Ayrshire.”

Prior to the Council’s budget meeting, repair works on local roads had already begun, with more than 2,700 local road inspections undertaken in January 2018 alone.

That works out at 88 road surface inspections a day – seven days a week, with road defects prioritised on severity and we are currently using around 200 tonnes of “black top” every week.

Mr Turner added: “We’re absolutely committed to fixing these issues and our teams are working hard across East Ayrshire.

“Temporary repairs are just that, essential to maintain safety but not a long term answer. I’m confident this major investment will have a noticeable impact in improving the experiences our residents and road users have had in recent times.

“I’d repeat my thanks to residents who have been most helpful in identifying and reporting damaged areas and I would encourage anyone to report road defects through the dedicated form on the ARA website.”