Busy pothole fillers lay claim to road repair prize
ASK Edinburgh's motorists to sum up the state of the city's roads, and it is unlikely the words "award-winning" would be the first to trip off the tongue.
But those who fix the Capital's potholes are in line for a top award after nominating themselves for the quality of their workmanship.
The move comes after the council's roads staff launched the Right-First-Time project, which saw 140 pothole repairs carried out every week in the south-west of the city, helping to halve the number of accident claims.
Edinburgh currently faces an 86 million backlog of repairs to fix the city's defective roads and pavements after decades of neglect, and the council is now spending more money than ever before on maintenance.
Councillor Robert Aldridge, the city's environment leader, said: "I would like to congratulate the team for all their hard work in making this pilot scheme a success.
"Our roads and pavements have suffered from years of neglect and the council is committed to rolling out a programme of improvements. This scheme shows that l staff are at the forefront of changing customer service for the better."
But David Legge, of the Association of British Drivers, said many of Edinburgh's motorists would be surprised that those repairing the city's roads felt worthy of an award.
He said: "I can't actually believe they feel they're in a position to put themselves forward for an award. That must mean that everyone else's roads are really, really bad.
"I can't believe they're deluding themselves – Edinburgh's roads are in a terrible state."
The nomination for the Frontline Engagement award will see the council's roads team up against competition from Gloucestershire County Council and North Lanarkshire Council as part of this year's Public Services Awards. The winners will be announced on 24 November.
Geoffrey Sim, senior customer services officer in the Services for Communities department, said: "The Right-First-Time team are delighted to have received this recognition. It's often the case that the people who are best placed to improve services are those directly involved in providing them.
"This project shows that frontline council staff are at the forefront of changing customer service for the better. We are all very excited about the prospect of helping to making further improvements to the service."
Earlier this month, campaigners in Leith hit out at the state of the roads, complaining that the council was ruining the feel of historic cobbled streets such as Lorne Street by filling in potholes with tarmac.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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