The Scottish Government has been urged to commit additional funding to protect Scotland’s road network.
There have long been northern calls for Holyrood to put further investment into roads outside the central belt – with the Highland region left with many “deteriorating” roads.
Neil Greig, from the road safety charity I AM Roadsmart, said lockdown should have been an “opportunity” for councils to catch up road maintenance issues.
He said: “Now that traffic is getting back to normal and the weather is getting worse there has indeed been a whole summer season missed, which will take time and money to catch up.
“The backlog of repairs hasn’t gone down. In England a government fund of £2.5 billion has been announced for long-term funding to fill in potholes.
“Given the importance of roads to the north-east, a similar fund form the Scottish government would be very useful.
“On winter preparations, it is vital that councils fulfil their obligations and have sufficient supplies and equipment in place.
“If they know there are issues now that gives them time to act.”
In Aberdeen, Liberal Democrat leader Ian Yuill said people still “regularly” contact him about the state of city roads.
Councillors will meet next month to discuss winter maintenance plans.
Mr Yuill said: “Sadly the state of Aberdeen‘s roads has got even worse this year because of the inevitable delays in road repair and resurfacing work caused by the pandemic.
“I know that council staff and contractors are now working hard to catch up on this year’s backlog of repairs.
“The only long-term solution though to the problem of Aberdeen’s crumbling roads is proper investment.”
Trish Robertson, Culloden and Ardersier councillor, added that steps would need to be taken to prepare for a potential “hard winter” on Highland roads.
She said: “Potholes may not be evident in all areas, right now but the road structure is weakened by the lack of attention.
“Time is short now to get everything done that was planned.
“Here in Highland we have had to limit spend on roads over the last decade so our roads have deteriorated.”