Concerns were this week expressed over the condition of local roads and the impact pot-holes are having on our cars.
A reader of the3towns contacted us after hitting a pot-hole in Saltcoats, which, she said, “felt like hitting a wall”.
Thankfully, on this occasion, no serious damage was done to the vehicle concerned, but lack of maintenance on local roads led to North Ayrshire Council forking-out £10,380 to compensate motorists in the past year.
With reduced funding made available to local authorities by central government, roads maintenance budgets have been targeted for ‘efficiency savings’, which in real terms means cuts and unrepaired roads. As a result, a recent report from Audit Scotland concluded around one-third of all Scottish roads were now in “unacceptable conditions”.
However, a spokesperson for Transport Scotland laid the blame squarely at the door of local Councils, saying, “The Scottish Government provide local authorities with significant levels of funding, giving them the freedom and flexibility to allocate these resources to road improvements based on local needs and priorities.”
In the last full financial year, North Ayrshire Council set aside £2,682,000 to cover ‘Structural Maintenance of Roads’ across the district. However, the3towns reader who last week hit a pot-hole in Saltcoats questions where the money has gone. “It sounds like an awful lot of money,” she said, “but roads are in a terrible condition, so they must be spending it elsewhere in North Ayrshire. It’s time the stared fixing the roads in the Three Towns.”