Extra £1million capital for Highland roads
On Thursday 9th March, the Council approved £1million additional capital monies to be spent on Highland roads.
The Scottish Government, announced on 2 February 2017, an additional Capital Grant for Highland Council of £2.046m for 2017/18 and members have agreed to allocate £1million of this to roads.
The 2017 Strategic Timber Transport Fund (STTF), managed by Forestry Commission Scotland, is to offer £7.85 million nationally of co-funding support to projects that strengthen public roads and reduce disruption by timber haulage. Highland Council is well placed to attract this match funding and would make every effort to secure this potential additional investment.
The Council is also working with the Scottish Road Works Commissioner to deliver improved co-ordination and co-operation with utility companies undertaking works on the public road. Deploying additional inspection resources will increase the monitoring and drive improvements in the standards of road works and reinstatements. Utility companies will be encouraged to minimise the disruption caused to the road using public by reducing the duration of works and, wherever possible, reinstating their works to a permanent standard at the same time.
The Council expects that this will reduce the number of reinstatement failures and help to maintain the integrity of the road surface.
The Council approved an additional £24.520 million in December 2015 for roads, bridges and piers to be included in the Capital Plan, together with an additional provision of £1.6 million for minor flood works over 10 years.
Budget Leader Councillor Bill Fernie said: “We have already committed a significant amount of capital investment into our road infrastructure over the next few years and this is an opportunity to add to that investment and attract additional match funding.”
Councillor Allan Henderson, Chair of Community Services Committee added: “We have nearly 7,000 km of roads in the Highlands and this network is vital to our rural communities and lifeline services. Every penny invested in maintaining this critical network also helps to support our tourism and business economy as well as improve connectivity for everyone in the Highlands.”