​​​​​​​Caithness area roads maintenance programme approved

Members of the Caithness Committee have today (Wednesday 16 May) approved the Council’s 2018/19 structural maintenance programmes for roads in the area for the coming year which reflects both the strategic network and the importance attached to local roads by rural communities.

The revenue budget for road maintenance activities in Caithness for 18/19 is £1.214M of which £0.539M is allocated for winter maintenance with a further capital budget of £0.785M

The Highland Council’s allocation to areas for structural road maintenance is based on the results of the annual Scottish Road Maintenance Condition Survey, safety inspections, service inspections and input from local members.

The 116 prioritised schemes include:

  • 53 overlay projects including the A99 at Keiss Mains and the U3618 Newton Road at Whitebridge;
  • 12 inlay projects including the A836 Shebster Junction and the B874 Sinclair Street Halkirk Junction;
  • 37 surface dressing projects including the A836 Canisbay Cemetery to the bridge at Lower Warse and from Warse Farm Road to Upper Gills;
  • 13 patching projects on A, B, C and U classified roads across the area

The harsh winter has had a serious effect on the network with roads deteriorating at an unprecedented rate. In order to try and restore roads to a manageable state, officers suggested that some of the resources from the capital budget previously earmarked for surface dressing and resurfacing programmes be used to support essential pot hole repairs. The current revenue budget resources for the area will not be sufficient to carry out the level of patching repairs on the scale now required. Members were supportive of this proposal and acknowledged that not all the resurfacing and surface dressing schemes previously prioritised for completion this year can be taken forward and may require to be deferred.

The agreed list of priorities is a “live” list and will be updated and adjusted as the year goes on so that a continual rolling programme of priority works can take place. Officers have given a commitment to come back to Members with a quarterly report to give an update on works carried out and let Councillors monitor and review the budget and maintenance programme.

Chair of the Caithness Committee, Councillor Matthew Reiss said: “Given the scale of roads across Caithness and the impact of weather related damage, there continues to be a huge demand on our limited resources. There will never be enough money for everything we want to do. However, the committee’s decision today means we have a clear plan taking us forward. Every pound we can spend on improving our roads goes back into the Caithness economy and helps to support jobs and growth so Highland Council will continue to look for ways of getting additional investment.”

"My fellow Caithness Councillors join me in thanking our staff for their hard work over the challenging winter months and we recognise and appreciate their commitment to get repairs carried out to our network as soon as possible."

16 May 2018
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