MSP welcomes proposal to fund road improvements

Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron has welcomed a proposal by the Scottish Conservatives to create a £100m Pothole Action Fund believing that it is something that his region desperately needs.

Donald said: “The condition of some of our roads is deplorable and they are set to get even worse if nothing is done about it.

“A report issued today by Audit Scotland on local government funding in Scotland makes it quite clear that Councils in the Highlands and Islands will look in vain to the SNP Government for assistance.

“In the last five years, council funding for the Western Isles has been cut by more than 15%, followed closely by Shetland at 14% and Argyll & Bute at 13%.

“This is simply devastating for our island communities and means that the local authorities are struggling to deliver even the most basic services.

“It’s hardly surprising that in these circumstances our roads are being neglected.

“The Audit Commission points out that: ‘Argyll and Bute Council has the most roads in need of maintenance and is in the bottom 25 per cent for cost of roads per km.’

“This long-term under-investment is undercutting the Highlands and Islands economy and costing councils a fortune in compensation for car owners.

“And, whatever the SNP and their allies in the Scottish Greens may say, there is no alternative to road transport for people living in remote and rural areas.

“A multi-billion pound project to develop the tram network in Edinburgh is not much use if you are living on Islay and worried that your car might hit a pothole the next time you go shopping.”