LAST year’s record levels of rainfall coupled with this winter’s snow and frost has seen the surfaces of local roads again taking a hammering.
And Selkirk is no different from other towns in the Borders when it comes to its thoroughfares being pockmarked with potholes in places, despite the best efforts of the local authority to stay on top of the problem.
Local Scottish Borders councillor Gordon Edgar (Ind), who also happens to be Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for roads and infrastructure, says roads in the Royal Burgh are mostly in a “reasonable” state of repair, but that there is not sufficient funding available in council coffers to allow the authority to deal with every single issue everywhere.
“I actually had a meeting with the roads director at the council this week to see if there was any way part of the budget that could be redirected,” Mr Edgar told The Wee Paper.
“But the problem is the budget is all spent”, he added.
Mr Edgar says with nearly 3,000km of road network spread across the Borders, council staff face a constant battle to keep on top of the situation.
He told us: “Even with such an extensive network of roads, the majority are well used and that means constant wear and tear, as well as problems inflicted by the weather.
“Everybody uses roads in the Borders, because it’s a fact of life if you live in the Borders and need to be on the move for any reason, you need to use the roads.
“It means our road surfaces are pushed to the limit most of the time.”
However, Mr Edgar pledged that safety was never compromised with the most serious road defects, which sees the worst potholes classed as category one, dealt with as quickly as possible.
An SBC spokesperson backed up Mr Edgar’s remarks, saying: “The council has a responsibility under the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 to maintain the road network in a safe condition. Potholes which are considered to provide a clear safety hazard to road users are classed as Category one defects. Repairing these potholes is about making the road safe again.
“This is a reactive short-term repair with potholes being treated quickly as they are identified.
“Permanent patching is undertaken on a planned basis, and involves saw-cutting around edges, removal of damaged material down to a sound base foundation and replacement with hot bituminous material, with joints sealed with bitumen.
“This is a long-term permanent repair with the majority of work being undertaken in the better summer weather.”