Budget of 2.44 million for roads and bridges
THE Highland Council’s Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee has approved the structural maintenance programmes for roads and bridges in the area for the coming year.
The budgets allocated to Caithness and Sutherland for structural road and bridge maintenance totalled 2.44 million. This figure includes 570,000, which is Caithness and Sutherland’s share of the additional 2 million allocated by the Council for road maintenance. The overall figure of 2.44 million does not include the allocation for winter maintenance or routine road maintenance. The Committee also welcomed confirmation that the area was to benefit from additional Scottish Government funding of 60,000, which will allow work on projects at Strathnaver and Forss.
Following a vote, the Area Committee agreed, for the current year, to reduce the spend on surface dressing and to increase the spend on drainage maintenance. The increased spend on drainage maintenance will be targeted at improving roadside drainage to keep water off the road, to help prevent longer term damage to the road surface and to ensure that future new surfacing lasts as long as possible.
Councillor Deirdre MacKay, Leader of the Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee, said: “Our roads are our most important asset. It is important to be flexible when allocating funding and to be able to target the areas of greatest need. Improved drainage on our roads is something we all want to see as it provides a real benefit, and I am sure people will welcome this focus on drainage maintenance. It is intended to return to a full surface dressing programme next year, and this should benefit from the work done to improve roadside drainage.”