Letters: Mend our roads

It is true that the cost of repairs to the roads and footpaths after the recent cold spell will be significant (your report, 30 December).

One aspect which has become apparent since the thaw has set in is the extensive "self-inflicted" damage that has occurred due to the inappropriate use of mechanical shovels (JCBs and similar equipment) to remove ice and snow from the road and footpath surfaces.

Kerbs are dislodged and surfaces are left cracked and vulnerable to frost damage - all this in addition to the normal deterioration that is experienced during such adverse conditions.

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If there is another spell of snow and cold weather, it is likely that this damage will be further accelerated by ice penetration into the damaged areas. One can only imagine at this stage what the eventual outcome will be.

Surely it is time for some serious lateral thinking in the way we deal with adverse winter conditions. We have highly paid officials in the local authorities who have overseen the current situation and the resultant damage which we will be suffering and paying for probably for years to come.

This is a plea to city councils and Transport Scotland: there are no doubt severe winters to come; don't just continue in the same old rut by pouring grit onto the roads and trying to clear the ice with mechanical diggers.

I have written previously concerning the possible introduction of heated road surfaces for main trunk routes - this is one area that could be progressed in conjunction with the extensive repairs that will be needed after the winter conditions abate.

Innovative thinking is urgently required. The costs of severe winters are escalating almost out of control and road conditions worsen each year. We simply cannot afford to continue with the status quo.

Douglas Johnston

Drumbrae Place


There has been much in the media regarding the state of the roads after the recent cold spell, with the usual demands that the authorities must do something.

Yes they must, but they do not make the potholes, nor should we, the taxpayers, have to foot the bill for repairs.

Poorly executed and unsupervised reinstatement after excavations for water, gas, electric and drainage work are to blame.

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Poor back filling causes subsidence and dropped manholes and the absence of a hot tar bond between old and new surfaces allows water to penetrate below the surface and freeze, with consequential damage when the thaw comes. Look at any road and the difference between proper and improper repairs is obvious.

Our administrators can do something about that by ensuring the utility companies reinstate their excavations to the correct standard and hold them to financial account if the repair proves inadequate.

Ronald Henderson

Elliot Road