Two north-east councillors have launched a bid to secure Scottish Government money to repair almost 200 miles of dangerous rural roads in their communities.
Jim Ingram and Katrina Farquhar have written to Rural Affairs Minister, Richard Lochhead, asking for an emergency meeting to discuss how soon funding can be brought forward to prevent a “worse case scenario”.
Their request follows a new report which named Banff and Buchan’s roads as the most dangerous in the country.
Mintlaw & District councillor Mr Ingram claims that unless money is spent soon, routes could deteriorate to the point where emergency services can no longer access remote households.
He said: “It’s getting close to the point where ambulances might not be able to use the roads and there are even some which the local authority are reluctant to use to empty waste bins.
“This is part of the danger. We know if something drastic was to happen we have the flying ambulance, but that is an extreme and it shouldn’t get to that stage.
“We are talking about people who live in rural areas who depend on these roads. We all have a right to use these, but they are currently the responsibility of the people who live on them and not everyone can afford to bring a road up to standard.”
He said that some of the roads, which have to be privately maintained by the people who live near them, have pot holes almost one foot deep.
Mr Ingram said there was a “case to be made” for grant funding.
“At a time when we’re trying to get the elderly to stay in their own homes, they need this kind of support,” he said.
“These roads are essential to the people living on them. We don’t expect something to happen tomorrow, but it is something that needs to happen.”
Councillor Farquhar represents Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside.
Last night, a Scottish Government spokesman said it was investing record levels into north-east transport.
The government has already committed to the £745million western peripheral route for Aberdeen and the dualling programme for the A96.
He added: “Despite UK Treasury cuts to Scotland’s budget, the Scottish Government have also maintained local government finance settlements with extra money for additional responsibilities.
“We have recently received the letter from councillor Ingram and councillor Farquhar and a response will be issued in due course.”