Scottish local road backlog 'close to £1.7bn'

14/03/2022
Chris Ames

The Scottish Government has insisted that it provides enough funding for councils after the cost of repairing the country’s local roads was estimated at almost £1.7bn.

The BBC said figures obtained from local authorities via a freedom of information request suggest that repair backlogs run into hundreds of millions of pounds.

Dumfries and Galloway Council had the highest repair bill backlog, with an estimated cost of just over £217m, while the Highland Council had a backlog worth more than £194m, and Argyll and Bute had one worth £112m.

The City of Edinburgh Council had a repair backlog estimated at just over £77m, while Glasgow City Council’s roads were awaiting repairs estimated at £96m.

Six authorities did not provide the data requested.

Bridge of Dee, Dumfries and Galloway. Image: SnapTPhotography/shutterstock.com

The Scottish Labour party's transport spokesman, Neil Bibby, said 'These astonishing figures lay bare the dire state of disrepair Scotland’s roads are in after years of neglect under the SNP.'

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: ‘We are treating councils fairly and providing a real terms increase of 6.3% to local authority budgets for the coming year – despite cuts to Scotland’s overall budget by the UK Government.

‘The Budget provides local government revenue funding amounting to almost £12.7bn - a cash increase of almost £1bn and a real-terms increase of £681.8m. In addition, councils will receive a fair share of a further £93.9m, which is currently undistributed.

‘Maintenance of the local road network is the responsibility of local authorities and it is the responsibility of individual councils to manage their own budgets and to allocate the total financial resources available to them on the basis of local needs and priorities.’

Officials pointed out that according to the Scottish Fiscal Commission the Scottish Government’s overall 2022-23 Budget is 2.6% lower than this year in cash terms and 5.2% lower in real terms because of reduced Covid-19 funding and falling capital funding from the UK Government.

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