Blacklist of roads revealed for vital repairs

The city has �12m to spend on repairing potholes
The city has �12m to spend on repairing potholes
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A BLACKLIST of the city’s worst highways has been drawn up – so council chiefs can tackle the potholed thoroughfares with a £12 million war chest.

The top ten worst roads – situated across the city and revealed here for the first time today – are set for a major overhaul under transport blueprints to bring battered main arteries up to scratch.

Details of the works emerged months after the city elected to double its roads budget to a record £26m.

As well as upgrades to well-worn routes including Queensferry Road and Fountainbridge, a revamp of 25 pavements and footpaths is set to get under way subject to approval by transport chiefs today.

Areas around tram stops at York Place, Frederick Street, Hanover Street and Shandwick Place will also earn a facelift.

The Capital has been fighting to overturn its tarnished reputation as a pothole hotspot after being ranked 23rd out of 32 Scottish councils for road conditions in 2006. Last year, it had leapt ten places to 13th.

Driving groups have hailed the news but said grumbles about the poor state of minor roads would continue while transport chiefs acknowledged the need for investment following a series of harsh 
winters.

Luke Bosdet, a spokesman for the AA, said the city’s battle against its pockmarked roads network was “cause for celebration” and praised the local authority for “getting to grips” with the problem.

But he said: “My only concern is that they have to make maximum use out of the money allocated but at some residential areas off the priority routes drivers may feel left out so this will not necessarily stop the grumbling.

“I think the council still needs to brace itself for continued discontent about the roads because once you get off the main roads some residential roads are a disgrace.”

He added: “When cities are trying to encourage people to use bicycles to get to work rather than the car, making major routes safer by making roads less likely to tip you off your bike is going to help people to make that switch.”

Any work left outstanding when the £12m budget dries up is set to be dealt with during the next financial year.

Councillor Lesley Hinds, transport convener, said: “The city’s roads have taken quite a battering over the past few years after severe winter weather and the impact of significant projects such as the construction of the tram line and major utilities works.

“That’s why we were determined to give most main, arterial routes a bit of a break as much as we could this year.”

Communities across the city’s 17 ward areas will also receive £50,000 to invest in “locally-agreed priorities” in their area. Around £8.5m will be spent on carriageway and pavement works, £1m to city centre improvements, £800,000 to improve local shopping areas and a total of £850,000 for local priority works.

david.mccann@edinburghnews.com