Crunch time for Fife’s roads?

Many of Fife's roads are in desperate need of repair
Many of Fife's roads are in desperate need of repair

A Fife councillor has voiced fears that some roads in the Kingdom may have to be closed because there’s not enough money in the council coffers to repair them.

Donald Lothian, who represents the Howe of Fife, was speaking after roads network official Kevin Smith revealed that £13 million was needed to maintain Fife’s roads in their current condition – but that only £10 million was available, and the roads were getting worse.

He said talks were due to take place with a view to using money from Fife Council’s revenue budget to meet the £3 million shortfall.

North east Fife area committee rubber-stamped more than a million pounds worth of roadworks in the area for 2017/18.

But a recently-completed project in Hepburn Gardens, St Andrews, has been described as ‘unacceptable’.

The road has begun to crumble just three months after it was supposed to have been repaired – and Fife Council is so unhappy that it has withheld payment until the contractor concerned carries out the work again.

The surface that was laid on the western section of Hepburn Gardens in October 2016 – between the Bogward Road and Buchanan Gardens junctions – is said to be failing in a number of locations, with the old surface clearly visible, debris strewn along the gutters and some parts of the pavements, and the new road markings wearing away.

“We have been patching up the roads for so long that they’re going to become increasingly expensive to repair,” said Councillor Lothian.

“I’m concerned that in a few years’ time roads may have to be closed because we don’t have the money to fix them.”