Research from Confused.com has revealed the depth of the pothole problem in the Scottish Borders.
Confused.com has calculated that the total depth of potholes in the Scottish Borders is 97m. The same height as 65 cars. The FOI also revealed that pothole repairs cost the Scottish Borders Council millions of pounds a year.
The FOI submitted to Scottish Borders Council revealed the extent of the pothole problem in the Scottish Borders. In 2014, 1,144 potholes were reported, 2015 – 1,263, 2,016 – 2,417 and in 2017 to date (16.5.2017) 937 have been recorded.
Repairing potholes in the Scottish Borders has cost millions of pounds. In 2014/15 was recorded as £2,302,504 and in 2015/16 it was £2,996,047.
Thousands of pounds has also been paid out in compensation due to damage sustained to vehicles from potholes/ damaged road services. In 2014, £8,092 was paid out, in 2015 £10,430, in 2016 £21,597 and in 2017 to date (16.5.2017) £5,391 has been paid out.
Due to the levels of funding from the SNP Scottish Government the Scottish Borders Council budget has been cut by £8.28 million.
Scottish transport chiefs are on record as saying it is ‘not possible’ to repair every Scottish road in need of maintenance with the declining road budget.
Total road repairs are costed at £1.67 billion across Scotland.
Scotland has a combined 153,310 potholes at a total depth of 6,354m. The same as 1.2 times the depth of the Mediterranean Sea and the same height as 4,243 cars.
Confused.com asked all UK councils for the number of potholes/road defects recorded, and the minimum depth required for a defect to be considered a pothole. 197 local authorities responded with data. This data was aggregated to show the total depth of a combined pothole in each region.
The total pothole depth was taken as the number of potholes multiplied by the minimum pothole depth for that local authority. Where a local authority doesn’t specify a minimum depth, a UK-wide median depth of 40mm was used. Regions that had a total pothole depth of fewer than 50m are not displayed.
Rachael Hamilton MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire said:
‘The report from Confused.com is astonishing and reveals the true depth of the pothole problem in the Scottish Borders. The situation in the Borders is only being exacerbated by the Scottish Government’s cuts to local authorities and road budgets.
‘The Scottish Government needs to acknowledge the problem with Scotland’s road. The Scottish Borders historically has had some of the worst roads in Scotland, and cuts to local budgets means only so much can be done to repair them. This is despite literally millions of pounds being spent trying to fill potholes in.
‘The Scottish Government needs to stop cuts to local authority budgets and give the Scottish Borders and others a chance to fix our roads.’
Cllr Shona Haslam, Leader of Scottish Borders Council, comments:
'This is a situation that we have inherited from the last SNP led council. As a response we have committed to protecting roads funding moving forward and dedicating as much as we possibly can to repair and maintenance. But this is a challenging situation, the level of grant that we receive from the Scottish Government continues to fall and we have to continue to deliver improved services with less. Roads are a priority and we will work over the next five years to improve our road network for the benefit of all of our residents.'
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