Lack of cash and retention of staff will see roads maintenance on Skye an issue for years and years to come, councillors heard yesterday.
Highland Council area roads engineer, Gordon MacDonald, told Skye and Raasay Area committee that there would be no quick fix for roads maintained by the local authority due to “manpower” – and year and years of under investment.
In questions from elected members to the area’s road engineer, he outlined a bleak picture of “decimated” roads on the islands roads which would not be solved quickly.
Councillor John Finlayson asked: “We all know the roads were decimated on the island last year. Have we got the roads budget we need to bring the roads up to the standard we need?”
Mr MacDonald said: “We welcome the additional funding. There is becoming a problem in roads that would take years and years of extra maintenance to catch up with. It can be very difficult.
Councillor Ronald MacDonald, and economist, then asked: “We know about all the damage that the weather has had over the years, so are you able to be specific about how to get the manpower back to the levels that are required to do the work on the roads that is required.
Mr MacDonald replied: “The levels of manpower are set for winter maintenance service and then remain the same levels of staff for the rest of the year.
Ronald MacDonald then asked: “As it was a much milder winter this year, does this mean there will be less damage to the road, than there was last year?
The road engineer then replied: “Yes there are savings that can be made there. We will not have the levels of damage but we will still have damage, as water is the biggest problem that we have.
“With the level of revenue we have, we can not get round all the roads. But we will work through them in a strategic order to have the roads that require investment receiving treatment.”
Area leader, Councillor John Gordon, said: “These will be issues we deal with for years to come, as our inboxes are full of concerns about the roads.”