Holes in budget could lead to more holes in our roads

Road repairs could be delayed
Road repairs could be delayed

Conservative group leader Dave Dempsey claims road maintenance work could be cut back following a “double raid” on the roads budget.

Around £900,000 which was earmarked for routine and structural maintenance in transportation has been “re-prioritised” to cover a shortfall in income from the sale of recycled material.

And £400,000 will go to pay for improvement works in Kirkcaldy town centre.

Cllr Dempsey said: “A shortfall in rubbish collection and recycling, notably a drop in income from selling recycled plastic, has been balanced by cutting road repairs. So a drop in the price of plastic means more potholes left unfilled.”

Cllr Dempsey also criticised the decision to take money from a roads maintenance fund to pay for public realm works in Kirkcaldy.

He said: “One of the Council’s flagship objectives is to ‘make Fife the best place to do business’. That’s good but it’s not clear that taking lumps out of the roads budget when there’s a £120 million repairs backlog is the right way to go about it.”

Dr Bob McLellan, head of transportation and environmental services, insisted all projects being deferred were of a lower priority, and the road patching budgets would not be reduced and all potholes would be dealt with promptly as normal.

He said: “The £400,000 approved by the executive committee for the upgrade of the south end of High Street will be wholly spent on maintaining and upgrading the damaged road surface and footways at this high profile location.

“The additional allocation of £350,000 from the Kirkcaldy Town Centre Development allows us to provide higher quality surface finishes and features in keeping with previous public realm improvements already completed in the High Street.”