Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Warnings road maintenance investment in Moray will need to quadruple amid fears surfaces may go ‘off cliff edge’

Buckie councillor Gordon Cowie.
Buckie councillor Gordon Cowie.

Warnings have been issued that Moray Council will have to at least quadruple spending on road maintenance over the next five years amid fears surfaces may go “off a cliff edge”.

Six years ago the authority decided to reduce repair funding with the aim of the condition of routes declining from one of the best in Scotland to a mid-table ranking among the 32 regions.

However, now the effect of the savings is being felt with huge cash investment needed over the next five years just to maintain roads at their current level.

Over the last five years the council has spent £10million on maintenance but that estimate has increased to £45million for the next five.

Yesterday senior management in the chambers stressed roads and finance bosses have already held talks about finding the necessary money while budgets continue to get squeezed elsewhere.

Buckie councillor Gordon Cowie raised concerns that Moray’s position in the national rankings may also be getting skewed by other council’s also reducing budgets.

He said: “Unfortunately due to financial constraints the condition of roads in all councils are deteriorating, and a lot faster here than we thought it would be.

“We need to keep a very close eye on them because they’re only going to go from bad to worse and instead of a repair we will be looking at a full reconstruction of them.”

Warning of looming crisis on Moray’s roads unless maintenance spending increases

Figures presented to a meeting of the council’s economic development and infrastructure committee yesterday showed Moray’s roads have declined from fourth to eighth in the national rankings from 2015.

However, A-class roads are just 20th on the charts with unclassified routes 16th.

Last year roads bosses described current repairs as the equivalent of a “varnish” on the surface which does not add strength to the carriageway with warnings that eventually they will need “wholesale reconstruction”.

Forres councillor George Alexander warned verges “breaking up” on rural routes due to extensive use from farming and haulage vehicles.

Council leader Graham Leadbitter explained road issues would have to be addressed amid concerns of repair bills only increasing.

He said: “This policy was only envisaged as a short-term possibility. It wouldn’t be credible to continue doing it indefinitely and it’s getting close to the end of its life now.

“We’re going to have to keep a very close eye on our roads to make sure they don’t go off a cliff edge, which would end up costing us a lot more.

“The roads are an absolutely essential network in Moray. They’re valued at £1.6billion so are by far our biggest physical asset.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]