Potholes: 'The impact is still being felt – quite literally'

ANYONE who thought we had seen the back of the effects of the severe winter weather has clearly not been driving on Scotland's roads in the last few days.

The impact of the big freeze is still being felt – quite literally, in the form of bone-jarring descents by car wheels into massive potholes.

The ice and snow has broken up roads across the Lothian to a shocking degree. In Edinburgh the repair bill over three months is set to double to 500,000.

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No-one can blame the city council for the new potholes – though successive administrations are accountable for the 86 million backlog of necessary repairs.

And no-one can expect the holes to be filled and repaired overnight. It is going to take time for that work to be done, and the list is so long that, inevitably, some repairs will have to take priority.

But the importance of the job cannot be underestimated, even when the city council is facing massive cuts to meet a 90m budget shortfall.

Holes in the roads mean damage to council taxpayers' cars and to business rate payers' vans and lorries. Every jarring bump could put off a tourist from returning, or a business person from investing in the city.

That's why we've helpfully printed a Get It Sorted pothole special today. And we'll be keeping an eye on the council's progress in filling these holes – and the hundreds of others which are making travelling across the city a bit like tackling an assault course.

Pride in our readers

THE compassion of Evening News readers seems to know no bounds.

Just five years after you helped raise more than 600,000 for survivors of the south-east Asian tsunami, you're doing it again.

So far, in less than a week, News readers have donated a staggering 100,000 to help rescue and recovery efforts by Mercy Corps in earthquake-devastated Haiti.

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Anyone who has seen pictures of the destroyed buildings and shattered lives can see just how great is the need in Haiti. Stories of looting and fighting over sparse supplies of food and water just reinforce the message.

But as Edinburgh-based Mercy Corps have shown time and time again, from Banda Aceh to the Lebanon, they can help transform and indeed save broken lives.

The Evening News is proud to be doing its bit – and proud that our readers have shown such generosity of spirit too.