Extra £15m given to fix potholes on Scotland's roads

traffic generic Potholes on the road network have caused problems for drivers

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Councils are to share an extra £15m from the Scottish government to cover the impact of winter conditions on Scotland's roads.

The funding is three times the amount made available last year.

A government spokesman said the money would be available for urgent repairs on local roads and cover the extra costs of winter roads maintenance.

A spokesman for the council body Cosla welcomed the money but said its members had been looking for more support.

He said: "By mid-December Scotland's councils had fully spent their roads' winter roads maintenance budgets.

"At the end of the winter we anticipate that the recent severe weather and the need to keep Scotland moving safely will mean councils will overspend in this area by some £60m, with another similar amount spent on remedial works such as filling pot holes and other such repairs.

"We welcome the Scottish government's announcement of a total of £15m to help, and we recognise the Scottish government faces similar financial pressures to our member councils.

"However, Scottish councils were looking for more support, in order that they are able to provide the same level of service when responding to any further adverse weather and its effects on our roads."

Up to a tenth of Scotland's road network is thought to require urgent work to repair damage caused by the severe weather.

'Exceptional cost'

Finance Secretary John Swinney said: "Scotland has faced its coldest December in 100 years and it is no surprise that significant additional costs were incurred.

"Both Transport Scotland, who maintain the trunk road network on behalf of the Scottish government, and councils who look after local roads, have worked extremely hard over the last couple of months to keep our roads passable."

He said "the tremendous efforts" to keep Scotland moving and the cost of extra salt supplies came at a price.

"I have agreed to release an additional £15m for this financial year, allocated across all councils, to cover the exceptional cost of extra winter roads maintenance required this winter and to help councils deal with necessary road repairs," he said.

"This is three times the extra amount we provided last year and I believe the severity of the conditions faced by councils merits an increase of that size."

The money is for the financial year 2010/11 and the exact distribution formula is to be discussed further with Cosla.

Earlier this week a massive pothole on the M74 motorway in South Lanarkshire caused damage to at least four vehicles.

A large pothole also caused major problems for motorists travelling on the M8 in West Lothian.

Potholes appear in winter when water seeps under a road surface and freezes to form ice. The process undermines the integrity of the carriageway when the temperature rises again, causing cracks or holes.

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