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Portlethen’s pothole plague may soon be over

Potholes on Cairngrassie Drive in Portlethen were circled in orange paint by annoyed residents earlier this year.

A contractor has been appointed to repair notorious potholes in Portlethen, Newtonhill and Muchalls after months of misery for residents.

Complaints about road surfaces in the three Aberdeenshire communities have been growing all year.

In April, the problem was so bad that residents in Portlethen took to using spray paint to highlight some of the community’s worst potholes and road defects.

The widescale problems have been caused by a number of factors, including damage from last winter’s weather, and delays to regular maintenance by Aberdeenshire Council caused by pandemic lockdowns.

Residents expressed their anger at the state of Portlethen’s potholes with spray paint.

In September the council put out a £100,000 contract to fix the roads, but the quotes supplied by the only two companies to bid for the work came back over budget, amid extra costs for supplies and staff from Covid and Brexit.

‘Understandably some folk have been quite upset’

But this week, North Kincardine councillor Ian Mollison confirmed that Hunter Construction has been awarded the patching contract to finally repair the roads in the three areas.

North Kincardine councillor Ian Mollison.

Mr Mollison said: “The state of the roads, my goodness, they really need attention.

“It’s really good news, the folk in Portlethen, Newtonhill and Muchalls have been by and large very patient, but understandably some folk have been quite upset that nothing has appeared to be happening.

“To use a pun, it’s been a long road to get to this point but finally we’re heading towards our destination.”

How has this taken so long, and when will repair work start?

Mr Mollison continued: “During the pandemic when we were in lockdown, normal repairs were suspended, and of course that didn’t help.

“Then we had winter, which helped to chew up the roads, and then when the roads service was looking for contractors to help catch up with the backlog, the first tender bids that came in were very much higher than had been estimated.

“Thankfully, the road service has managed to come to a contract with Hunter Construction, which is fantastic.

“I don’t know exactly when the work will start, but I’ve been promised as soon as the contractors let the road service know, they will share that information.

“The sooner the better, of course.

“It will take quite a while to get around them I would imagine, so we’re still a long ways to go, but there’s now progress at last.”

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