Let’s sort out our potholes!

Cllr Pat Callaghan out with one of Fife's pothole squads.
Cllr Pat Callaghan out with one of Fife's pothole squads.

AN extra £4million is to be spent across Fife over the next three years repairing the Kingdom’s roads.

Fife Council’s Executive Committee has decided to increase the investment in road maintenance and will now spend over £20million on protecting Fife’s routes each year.

The authority says it took the decision after recognising that the first few weeks of 2013 had seen a “significant increase” in the number of potholes in Fife; in fact, more emergency potholes were reported in January than in all of 2011/12.

Council roads teams have been working flat out to repair potholes as quickly as possible.

With the exception of a small slip in January when poor weather reduced the number of repairs that could be carried out, the Council says it’s continuing to meet its target of repairing emergency potholes within 24 hours and non-emergency potholes within five days.

Wider issue

Councillor Pat Callaghan, executive spokesman for transport and environment, said: “The forces of nature haven’t been kind to us over the past few years, but it’s important to remember that the pothole problem’ isn’t unique to Fife - indeed we’re in a better position than some of our neighbours.

“As a Council, we intend to approach the Scottish Government to ask for funding to help us tackle the backlog of road repairs that have built up.

“In the meantime, we’re investing as much money as we can to improve the condition of Fife’s roads.

“We’re also in the process of buying two new state-of-the-art road repair vehicles to improve our responsiveness.”

Fife’s roads are currently ranked 16th out of 32 councils in Scotland in relation to road surface condition.

Increased investment in recent years has seen a reduction in the number of roads needing resurfaced.

However, it has been calculated that to complete the backlog of road repairs would cost the Council £82.5million.

Around 95 per cent of the potholes Fife Council repairs every year are identified by staff through routine safety inspections.

The other five per cent are reported by members of the public. If you spot a pothole, you can report it to the Council online at www.fifedirect.org.uk/potholes or by calling 08451 55 00 11.