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SLC Call For Funding For Roads
South Lanarkshire Council is calling on the Scottish Government to provide the additional funding needed to continue to improve the roads network in the area.
An Audit Scotland report has called for “urgent action” to improve Scotland’s roads network with more than a third of council-maintained roads in need of repairs.
However, the report states the number of roads in an acceptable condition in 2015 in South Lanarkshire stood at 66.2 per cent compared to 62.5 per in 2008.
This is just below neighbouring North Lanarkshire Council, with nearby Glasgow City sitting just above both Lanarkshire authorities in the league table.
And from 2011/12 to 2014/15 Audit Scotland found that there has been a six per cent improvement in the number of council-maintained roads in an acceptable condition in the South Lanarkshire Council area.
The council also has the largest investment programme in the country, with a £126 million improvement programme in place for its 2295km of roads network.
However, Councillor Chris Thompson, chair of the enterprise resources committee, warned that the progress could only continue if the Scottish Government provided substantial additional investment in the longer term.
He said: “We are pleased that the report reflects both our commitment and our progress in improving the condition of our roads.
“The level of our investment in road and winter maintenance, which the council has broadly sustained through difficult financial times, also compares favourably with other councils and is producing positive outcomes in terms of improved road condition.
“However, these improvements can only be maintained and developed further with significant financial investment that needs to be funded by the Scottish Government.
“While we support the principles of collaborative working across Scotland, highlighted in the report as a possible solution to improving standards, we do not agree that this will be the panacea that will deliver the improvements required.”
He went on: “While there are benefits, what we risk in the process is diluting the progress and high standards that have been achieved by councils at the forefront of roads improvement.
“Through necessity, South Lanarkshire has some of the best expertise and experience in the country that we must be able to continue to deliver, as some of the difficult winters have demonstrated in recent years.
“Committing the financial investment required to drive standards up, is essential at a national level.”
Councillor Thompson added: “Even with our improvement programme, we recognise that much work remains to be done and the travelling public should be assured that improvement in road condition remains a key priority for the council.”
Drivers across East Kilbride and the surrounding areas have faced numerous road work blackspots in recent weeks with ongoing works along Strathaven Road as well as much-needed repairs to the Whirlies roundabout.