East Ayrshire Council’s Cabinet has agreed the Ayrshire Roads Alliance’s programme of investment works that will allow improvement works to carried out to carriageways and footways, street lighting, allow for bridge strengthening and investment in transportation, road safety and fleet vehicles.
Back in February, Cabinet approved the Roads and Transportation Capital Investment Programme as part of the Council investment priorities over the next ten years. Once this funding was approved, the Ayrshire Roads Alliance was in a position to review and re-prioritise programmes of work and present updated programmes for consideration. An extensive consultation also took place last autumn with elected members, Community Councils and Community Action Plan Steering Groups, each were asked to suggest improvement schemes that could be considered for inclusion this year.
The roads infrastructure is one of the most valuable Council assets and is vital to the economic wellbeing and development of East Ayrshire, contributing significantly to the local economy and regeneration. The Scottish Road Maintenance Condition Survey (SRMCS), which is commissioned by all local authorities and began in 2002, covers all A class roads every two years, all B and C class roads every four years and a 10% sample of unclassified roads every year.
Investment in our roads network has increased significant in recent years, going from £2m annually, for carriageway and footway improvements, from 2014 to 2018; rising to £5m in 2017/19 and then £4.2m for 2020/22. This targeted investment has seen improvements in road conditions with East Ayrshire’s A class network now ranked fourth in Scotland. This investment will continue in 2022/23 with £5.375m dedicated to carriageway and footway structural maintenance. Extensive improvement programmes will take place across East Ayrshire including on the A713 south of Hollybush and Polnessan to Patna, the A71 Main Street, Darvel, the A70 and A719. There will also be extensive resurfacing works carried out in New Cumnock at Mansfield Road and the Alliance will be fully resurfacing Ayr Road and Tanyard car parks in Cumnock. Our communities will be notified of all works by advanced signage and details will be available on the Ayrshire Roads Alliance website in due course.
For 2022/23 the overall roads budget will increase to £12.8m with an additional £0.4m invested in fleet vehicles. This multi million-pound investment will see full lighting replacement projects in Fenwick, Galston, Kilmarnock and Stewarton and the continuation of LED replacement programmes across East Ayrshire. £6.037m will be invested in our bridges with funding also provided by the Scottish Government’s Local Bridge Maintenance Fund; projects include the A735 Victoria Bridge refurbishment, C108 Gateside Culvert replacement and the U22 Burnfoot Bridge replacement.
Traffic, Transportation and Road Safety improvement programmes will be delivered in partnership with Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT), Transport Scotland and SUSTRANS, with vital support from Police Scotland, with a focus on improving road safety, enhancing the transport network and promoting accessible travel choices. This will include expanding the School Streets programme after the successful pilots at Catrine Primary and St Sophia’s Primary; funding bids for improvement works at Kilmarnock bus station, a bus park and ride on Western Road, Kilmarnock and access to the X77 bus service at Fenwick plus the continuation of Kilmarnock Active Travel Hub.
Large-scale projects will continue over the next year, including the New Cumnock flood scheme and the Alliance will be investing in Kilmarnock’s car parks. This will include the demolition of the multi-storey car park and the refurbishment and creation of new car parks to ensure easy access to the town for visitors and residents alike.
In addition to the significant programme of works approved by Cabinet, the Alliance has also engaged consultants to develop a Levelling Up bid for improvements at the Bellfield Interchange, flood defences around Bellfield East and improvements to the A70 from Ayr to Cumnock, including by-passing Ochiltree.