Marshall vents fury over pot-hole plague

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Hawick’s pot hole-ridden roads have been branded “a disgrace” by Councillor Stuart Marshall.

And the Hawick and Denholm member told Burnfoot Community Council that Scottish Borders Council’s pledge of an additional £500,000 a year for roads across the region was a “drop in the ocean”.

The local authority was also criticised by chairman Michael Grieve, who claimed the method by which pot holes were repaired was the same now as it was in the 1950s.

Mr Grieve said: “My car’s in the garage with two broken coils and broken suspension, and I’m wondering if it’s the roads that have caused this and not just just wear and tear. But I don’t see how I can prove it unfortunately.”

Councillor Marshall: “One local garage owner tells me that damage caused by pot holes accounts for 50 per cent of his business at the moment. We really need to pile the pressure on [SBC]. The roads are a disgrace. If we don’t shout [for them to be repaired], we’ll be last.”

Chairman Grieve: “The thing is, and I keep going on about this, we’re still repairing roads in the Scottish Borders the way we did in the 50s.

“A man with a bucket of hot tar, poured into a puddle, and stamped down.

“There are machines out there that can do it far quicker and far better.

“It would take abit of capital expenditure, yes, but you’d save more in the long run because you’d use less tar.”

Councillor Marshall: “We’ve got a huge issue and to me [SBC] ploughing £500,000 [for roads] into its revenue budge is a drop in the
ocean.”

Councillor Watson McAteer: “We’ve got a serious problem with our roads. At the finance meeting at the council, Councillor Marshall and I homed in on the capital budget around roads. We are in the lowest quartile as a local authority for the condition of roads in the counry. And not one penny extra is going to be spent on roads at a capital level.

“The £500,000 is revenue and will already have been just about swallowed up by these bucket and hole fillers.”

Councillor Marshall: “I’m led to believe there was a nightshift crew filling pot holes a few weeks ago. That’s the scale of it.

“People can say the roads are bad throughout the
whole of the Borders, but I’m only interested what’s happening in this town at the moment, and the roads are terrible.”

A Scottish Borders Council spokesperson said: “The council is continuing to deal with the significant programme of repair works following the flooding events which affected a number of communities.

“There are currently over 300 individual projects that have been identified, together with a patch-and-repair programme specifically dealing with pot holes.

“In recognising the need to maintain roads in a safe condition, the council has committed to providing an additional £500,000 to maintain the road network within the Scottish Borders.”

The spokesperson added that pot holes, which were considered to provide a clear safety hazard to road users, were being repaired temporarily as part of a quick response. Permanent patching on a planned basis would follow soon after, providing a long-term permanent repair. It was hoped to carry out these permanent repairs as soon as possible after completing the temporary works, but this was very much weather dependent.

n Pot holes can be reported to the council via www.scotborders.gov.uk/potholes or on 0300 100 1800.

n Scottish Borders Council was given a stark warning at the Court of Session in Edinburgh after a cyclist badly injured on a council road was awarded £100,000. David Robinson, of Edinburgh, suffered a dislocated left elbow and fractures to his elbow and wrist when his bike hit and became lodged in the grooves of a polished metal strip set on the A701 at Broughton village, throwing him over the
handlebars.