‘Find and Fix’ squads to address local road repairs
East Ayrshire Council has today (Thursday 22 February 2018) announced a huge funding injection for road resurfacing projects to deal with unprecedented winter damage.
The Council budget, agreed by all parties, trebles the road repair budget, from £2 million to £6 million, with work to be carried out by the Ayrshire Roads Alliance.
Resurfacing work will focus on roads worst affected by defects, potholes and surface fragmentation – addressing all defects at once – marking a move away from temporary repairs on isolated patches and potholes.
Work will begin as temperatures begin to rise and will be carried out largely between April and October 2018.
Road repair work has already started in Sorn and Galston where the road surface has been especially affected by adverse weather.
Stewart Turner, Head of the Ayrshire Roads Alliance said: “The increased funding will allow us to do more, resurfacing substantial stretches of road, eliminating potholes and defects, returning the road to a safer, more easily maintained state.
“This winter in particular, a persistent cycle of rain, ice and snow has resulted in a deterioration that has been there for all to see.
“In a normal winter we expect to use 6,000 tonnes of salt on the roads between October and March. This year we will use 15,000 tonnes – two and a half times more than normal.
“We have also seen an increase in pothole reports of 15% since January and we’ve made over 2,700 road inspections – up 50% on last year.
“The demands on our Roads employees has been intense and unremitting and they have worked tirelessly to do their utmost to keep our roads safe. I cannot thank them enough.”
“Residents and road users have made their voices heard and we’ve listened carefully to what has been said to the extent that we’re changing the way we work to meet the unprecedented level of repairs that are emerging.”
‘Find and Fix’ squads will continue to prioritise potholes and urgent road repairs and while they are working on these defects, the team foreman will also inspect and record nearby issues, which the team will make safe, dealing with all categories of road repair in one visit.
Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of East Ayrshire Council said: “The trebling of the road repair fund to £6m is a major step forwards in helping us tackle the issues on our roads.
“Residents and road users are already noticing the Alliance teams working on the roads and the significant number of new resurfacing programmes will see almost 60km of local roads resurfaced before autumn – that is an extraordinary number in such a short space of time.
“This, coupled with the ‘find and fix’ approach our squads are adopting, will make a real impact on the condition of our roads between now and the autumn.”
Councillor John McGhee, Leader of the Labour Group added: “We recognise the collaborative approach taken to set this year’s budget and it includes our priorities to make East Ayrshire a great place to live and work.
“Communities are at the heart of our policies and I’m pleased the commitment to road resurfacing and repair will make a big difference, especially for those who live in rural areas.”
Councillor Tom Cook, Leader of the Conservative Group said: “Today’s collaborative budget confirms that we are all fully aware of the challenges that face us over the next few years and are agreed on the approaches we need to take to tackle them.
“More importantly, we have seen that our communities also recognise those challenges and are keen to be part of the solution. The investment in our roads directly reflects the feedback from residents and road users.
Councillor Reid concluded: “Today’s budget includes elements promoted by each of the local political parties and that collaborative approach is perfectly illustrated in our commitment to the investment in the road network.
“Our Roads colleagues have gone above and beyond to keep road users as safe as possible and whilst their dedication is no surprise to me, it is very much appreciated.
“I’m also grateful to local residents for their patience, feedback and support as we move forwards with this major repair and resurfacing programme.”