MSP calls for emergency pothole fund

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The local MSP has suggested that Argyll & Bute Council dips into its reserves to establish a fund to deal with the “emergency” of potholed roads.

Speaking ahead of this Thursday’s council budget meeting, Argyll & Bute MSP Michael Russell (SNP) said: “The bulk of the local roads are the council’s responsibility and I have received many complaints about those roads.

“Drivers avoiding these can cause traffic accidents and in addition essential workers, like carers, are having delays and disruptions to the vital work they do because of damage to their vehicles.

“Local road users must report these problems to the council whenever they experience them because only when a pothole has been reported and not acted on can individuals claim compensation for damage.

“But it would be better if the council accepted that the current situation constitutes an emergency given the severe deterioration caused by adverse weather, first of all in terms of extreme wet weather in the summer and autumn and then very cold winter conditions.

“The council could meet that emergency by dipping into its reserves and establishing a fund to take forward urgent repairs across the area, starting with the worst affected routes.

“The council cannot simply go on saying that its current budgets are constrained.

“It has reserves and the reality is that such reserves are, in part, about putting aside resources for times when special circumstances require special measures. This is one of those times and accordingly I have suggested to the council that it sets up a new fund, with monies from their reserves, immediately.

“I will continue to monitor the local road situation closely and I would encourage people to report faults and damage quickly and regularly until they are fixed. Community Councils are also getting active in the matter and that is to be welcomed and I am sure Councillors want to see improvements made without any further delay.”