A council roads chief has conceded potholes are “growing like mushrooms” as she tries to deal with challenging weather conditions while “juggling” reduced budgets.
Principal engineer for Aberdeenshire Angela Funk told councillors that only 50% of recent planned works had been completed as the region was hit by the Beast from the East.
The £6.7million road maintenance budget for the Marr area – which includes Huntly, Alford and Deeside – has just over £1million set aside for winter maintenance – a figure reduced from last year by £443,000.
Mrs Funk said the roads service had tried to prepare a “balanced budget” to keep the roads of “up to scratch”.
But she added: “The potholes are growing like mushrooms at the moment.”
She added: “Weather conditions recently have meant that only 50% of planned work has been done.
“We have to do some juggling at the moment – the last year has been quite challenging.
“We are hoping to get more money from the Scottish Government, but this has yet to be confirmed.”
Last night a spokeswoman from the Scottish Government confirmed that help was on its way for beleagured councils to deal with extra costs.
She said: “We are opening dialogue with local authorities and Cosla on the costs associated with the severe weather that Scotland has recently seen.
“We have activated the Bellwin Scheme, which has made available to local authorities the opportunity to put forward claims of extraordinary expenditure that are associated with handling these incidents and we await any claims.”
Speaking at the Marr area committee, Upper Deeside councillor Geva Blackett agreed that there was a major issue with damage to local routes.
“One in particular is on the road at the Pass of Ballater – it is in serious disrepair,” she said.
Councillor Peter Argyle said the weather was causing “impossible” problems with thaw damage and flooding.
“In an ideal world we would have more money to put into roads maintenance,” he said.
“But, we don’t live in an ideal world.
“I think we need to collectively as a nation have a grown up chat about what services we want.”
Committee chairwoman Moira Ingleby added: “Marr has a huge network of roads.
“We appreciate that the budget has been cut but we also appreciate the work being done by the roads service on our behalf.”