It is “not possible” to fix Scotland’s potholed and damaged roads due to funding cuts, independent transport experts claim.
This is the opinion of the Society of Chief Officers of Transportation in Scotland (SCOTS), which estimates the cost of tackling the backlog of repairs to Scotland’s roads at a colossal £1.67 billion.
Scottish Labour said the figures showed the scale of the SNP administration’s cuts to council budgets and called for local authorities to be better funded.
The claim comes just days after research published by Confused.com found that Scotland has the highest number of potholes in the UK – 154,310 – with a combined depth of four miles.
SCOTS’ analysis was presented to SPICe, the Scottish Parliament’s independent information centre, which asked if it was possible to calculate how long it would take to fix all of Scotland’s roads that require maintenance.
The group – which comprises transport experts from all 32 Scottish local authorities and the seven regional transport partnerships – replied: “At current (decreasing) levels of funding, it is simply not possible to ‘fix’ all of Scotland’s roads that need maintenance.
“Most roads authorities have budgets which are lower than that required to maintain roads at the current state – which includes roads which are in need of maintenance.”
Labour’s transport spokesman Neil Bibby believes many Scottish motorists will be shocked by the supposedly insurmountable task facing the Scottish National Party (SNP).
“Many motorists are already frustrated at the state of Scotland’s roads, but they will be absolutely stunned to learn that transport experts have deemed it simply impossible to repair all of the country’s roads at current funding levels,” Mr Bibby told the Scotsman.
“Scotland’s roads already require £1.6bn worth of works – and, with massive funding cuts, that figure will only get worse.”
He called on the SNP to stop cutting council budgets and properly fund local authorities to let them invest effectively in repairing Scotland’s roads.
Ben Robb, brand manager at Dieselink, commented: “It’s quite embarrassing that Scotland has more potholes than anywhere else in Britain, and the issue is made all the more frustrating given that local authorities are apparently unable to tackle the problem due to cuts.”