Roads challenges facing the district

A NATIONAL survey may have revealed that Angus remains one of the top ranked authorities for the condition of its road network but major challenges lie ahead.

The local authority’s roads spokesman, Councillor David May, has outlined that challenge as the council battles to rectify the damage caused by this year’s severe winter weather.

An investigation on the condition of roads in Scotland is carried out annually through SCOTS (The Society of Chief Officers for Transportation in Scotland).

The latest survey reveals that Angus is in fifth place overall in Scotland for the conditions of its roads.

In a report which went before the infrastructure services committee last week members heard that, although the Angus position remains positive in relation to the Scottish picture, the most recent survey was carried out before the severe winter weather.

Committee convener David May said: “While the high ranking of Angus Council is to be welcomed, the deterioration in Scotland’s roads network remains a concern for national and local governments.

“Angus, like every other local authority, is facing a big bill to repair damage caused by the severe and prolonged cold snap.

“The council recognises the vital part the transport infrastructure plays in the economy of Angus, and has approved a record investment in our roads for 2011/12. This £15.4m cash injection will help us deal with the potholes and other problems that have emerged in the wake of the incredibly harsh winter.

“This significant investment will hopefully allow Angus to deliver the standard that keeps us among the top ranking councils in the SCOTS survey.”

Councillor May added that joint arrangements with Dundee and Perth & Kinross councils through Tayside Contracts was assisting the county in dealing with road repairs effectively – an arrangement which was praised by government watchdog Audit Scotland recently.

“Our roads staff are working extremely hard to tackle the extensive damage to our roads, but there is no doubt that dealing with severe winters and the effect on our roads network will continue to be a major challenge for local authorities in the future, concluded Councillor May.