MSP URGES PUBLIC TO GIVE VIEWS ON ROAD FUNDING AHEAD OF PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRY DEADLINE

South Scotland MSP and Scottish Labour’s Transport Spokesperson Colin Smyth has urged road users to give their views to a Parliamentary Committee on the effectiveness of the current approach to road maintenance in Scotland and whether current funding levels are sufficient.

 

COlin Smyth

The Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee are carrying out a Pre-budget inquiry into roads maintenance in Scotland, with a view to making recommendations to the Scottish Government ahead of them publishing their draft budget in December.

The deadline for evidence to the Committee--6 September - is fast approaching, although anyone wishing to give his or her views can also contact Colin Smyth, who is a member of the Committee, beyond this date as the Committee is not scheduled to consider the evidence until the end of September.

Scotland’s road network consists of almost 56,000km of roads, as well as footways, bridges, lightning, signs and lines. Local authorities are responsible for 25,600km of classified roads and 26,800km of unclassified roads. Transport Scotland is responsible for 3,600km of motorways and trunk roads, which make up only around 6% of the road network but account for a third of the traffic.

Audit Scotland, in a series of reports on roads maintenance in recent years, has been critical of the standard of local roads, within the context of declining budgets.

Colin Smyth said, “If there is one issue that can often dominate my inbox and advice surgeries it is complaints about the state of our roads. Despite often the best efforts of councils who spend millions on repairs and resurfacing, there is no doubt that the plague of potholes is getting worse not least because of Government budget cuts. That’s why the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee are carrying out a Pre-budget inquiry into roads maintenance in Scotland, with a view to making recommendations to the Scottish Government ahead of them publishing their draft budget in December. The Committee wants to hear from road users across Scotland, whether you area a large commercial transport operator, a small local businesses, a community groups or an individuals to develop a deep understanding of views on how our roads are being maintained. The call for evidence was made in June but with the deadline approaching I’m urging anyone who hasn’t submitted a view to do so soon, as it is vital that the voice of the south of Scotland is heard on a issue that impacts on so many people in our area.”