Rising costs for roadworks and footpath repairs

Councillor Rory Colville.
Councillor Rory Colville.

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A £210,000 programme of footway repairs is earmarked for Mid Argyll, Kintyre and the Islands, a report has revealed.

Argyll and Bute Council approved investment of £500,000 in making footpaths better across the region as part of its budget in February 2021, to add to a further £400,000 for green transport and travel.

Details of the areas which will benefit from the £900,000 cash pot, to be used across Argyll and Bute, have now been revealed, with Northbay and Port Ellen on Islay earmarked for £61,000.

Councillors were asked to endorse the programme of footpath works at a virtual meeting of the council’s environment, development and infrastructure committee earlier this month.

Harbour Street in Tarbert has the next biggest planned allocation from the fund at £44,000, closely followed by Woodside, Carradale, at £41,000, and Lorne Street in Lochgilphead at £39,000.

Completing the list of proposals are Kilchenzie housing in Kintyre at £16,000, and crossing points with dropped kerbs around Campbeltown at £9,000.

Council executive director Kirsty Flanagan said: ‘Members’ views were sought via a communication to the area committee chairs on potential schemes and where possible these have been incorporated into the programme.’

Councillor Rory Colville, policy lead for roads and infrastructure services, said: ‘I’d like to thank our council workers and contractors who have delivered this ambitious programme of work in difficult circumstances.

‘We want to repair and protect as much of our road network as possible. That’s why we have chosen to invest significant funding over recent years. We are now seeing gradual improvement.

‘Using surface dressing as the main means of road treatment means we can cover much more area, sealing the cracks in the carriageway.

‘This prevents the ingress of water and will reduce the amount of reactive maintenance for potholes.’

The same report also revealed that the council is starting to see some disruption to material supplies for its roads capital reconstruction programme.

The year’s programme will see 229.3 kilometres (142.5 miles) of road treated – equivalent to more than 10 per cent of the authority’s total adopted network.

Ms Flanagan added: ‘Members should note that we are starting to see some disruption in material supplies, for example cement supplies in many local builders’ merchants have been depleted due in part to demands from other large UK construction projects, the ability for some European cement production to be maintained on reported logistical challenges due mainly to limited numbers of truck drivers.

‘In addition to this, key materials such as cement and bitumen have seen double figure percentage increases in cost, which is reflected in the actual costs of works.’