Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Paying too much for broadband? Move to PlusNet broadband and save£££s. Free setup now available - terms apply. PlusNet broadband.  
Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Making some progress

  1. #1

    Default Making some progress

    WOW !, so there is a £44 million pounds surplus at The Highland Council (THC). Unfortunately in my opinion, very little of that will be ear marked for the repair of roads in the highlands. It would also appear that the Scottish Government have suddenly found a lot of money and are promising to spread it about, anyone would think there is an election soon.................... Why can't they send some to Caithness for emergency road repairs ?


    Apparently some of the surplus is due to savings made by THC etc, could the savings possibly be as a result of not carrying out much needed maintenance work for years on the roads of the Highlands ? Even if the whole sum of money were to be used to bring the highland roads up to standard it would sadly not be enough to complete all the road repairs.


    I understand that there may be other needy causes but the roads are the routes to getting to many of those causes safely.


    I have noticed that repairs are being made to the main roads and I suppose the plan is to get to the side roads as soon as possible. Much emphasis has been put on getting the NC500 up to standard and understandably so but where are the Jet Patchers and why aren't they repairing pot holes in the side roads whilst the resurfacing teams are concentrating on the main roads ?. The task ahead is now too big for the current Road Team to resolve in the near future so hopefully they will receive some help.


    Unfortunately the current spell of weather will accelerate the number of pot holes and crumbling surfaces. Whilst THC and the Scottish Government quibble about whose fault it is and who should fund repairs the roads just get more and more dangerous. They are two of the most incompetent organisations that I have had the misfortune to come across. No wonder we now find ourselves in a crisis situation.


    In the meantime we should all continue to lobby THC and the Scottish Government who have both failed the people of the Highlands. I know that the Scottish Government are not interested and hide behind figures and legislation but we have to show them that we are not going to go away until the issue is resolved. What is the point of having a Government if they are not prepared to Govern ?


    Caithness Roads Recovery have been working hard to encourage the authorities to work together, take responsibility and get the crisis resolved as soon as possible.


    Please take a moment to support them in their campaign to get your roads back up to an acceptable standard.


    I have emailed most of the election candidates apart from Maree Todd SNP, who, it seems is impossible to contact by email at the moment.


    Struan Mackie, Conservative, has also failed to respond.


    Thank you and take care.

  2. #2

    Default

    In Canada they are advertising trips to Scotland!
    Route ...Edinburgh to Inverness...up the East Coast, down the West Coast.
    I haven’t seen anything for North of Inverness!
    Authorized by The Scottish Tourist Advisory Board.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The Horseman View Post
    Authorized by The Scottish Tourist Advisory Board.
    I haven't heard of that organisation before. Perhaps you would be kind enough to provide a link to its website as I haven't been able to find any mention of it on Google.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Corky Smeek View Post
    I haven't heard of that organisation before. Perhaps you would be kind enough to provide a link to its website as I haven't been able to find any mention of it on Google.
    I cannot find it either.....Saw the ‘promo’ on Google which I assume is more local stuff a few days ago with the Caption I mentioned.....What took my attention was the ‘roadmap’...Nothing North of Inverness....and...in the Middle of the Virus.

    Another profiled was Scotland......Edinburgh to Aberdeen, then to Orkney and return the same route.

    Maybe it was some private Company using the words ‘loosely’.
    Last edited by The Horseman; 11-Apr-21 at 00:43.

  5. #5

    Default

    Well, if it was on Google it must be a real organisation!

  6. #6

    Default

    Shouldn't be advertising anyway just now- we are not open and currently have to 'stay local' within our own council area.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Corky Smeek View Post
    Well, if it was on Google it must be a real organisation!
    I dunno about that.....Several things about the Ads took my eye......first was Covid and then Missing ‘The North’...

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fulmar View Post
    Shouldn't be advertising anyway just now- we are not open and currently have to 'stay local' within our own council area.

    Precisely. Makes you wonder just how genuine some of the things you see on the internet really are!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Wick, Caithness
    Posts
    1,664

    Default

    From Highland Council today

    Work to repair Highland roads underway

    Last week during a spell of wintry weather The Highland Council’s roads team were kept busy providing a daily gritting, and where necessary, winter ploughing service, but with better weather forecast the crews are switching to concentrate their efforts on carrying out road repairs across all areas.

    The Leader of the Council, Margaret Davidson said: “Our staff have done a terrific job over what has felt like a particularly cold and long winter, keeping roads and footpaths clear of snow and ice, protecting vital connections between remote communities and supporting the NHS Vaccination programme. The negative effect the winter weather has had on our road conditions is clear to see. Staff have, where possible, fitted in around their winter gritting duties, temporary pot-hole repairs using cold tar, but I am pleased that the programme of planned pot hole repairs and other road maintenance works will start in earnest as the weather improves and there are no frosts.”

    “Last year the Council announced its biggest ever single investment in roads with an extra £20 million of capital and an additional £1.3million of annual revenue for road maintenance, highlighting the importance the council places on improving the road network. This investment in our roads network helps keep our communities connected and is essential for business. We have nearly 7,000 kilometres of roads in the Highlands and investing in maintaining this critical network is always going to be challenging.

    “The impact of the pandemic has delayed muh of the work over the past year, and now the spell of severe weather is over, our focus can return to completing the programme of repairs and improvements.”

    Motorists can report potholes using the online ‘potholes’ form on the council’s website - https://www.highland.gov.uk/report

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Wick, Caithness
    Posts
    1,664

    Default

    Thursday 4 Aug 2016
    Audit Scotland reported -
    Roads network needs attentionUrgent action is needed if the condition of Scotland's roads is to improve.A new report published today says proper maintenance of the roads network is vital for economicprosperity and for people to get around safely.However, roads authorities, locally and nationally, urgently need to be more innovative, developrobust ways to compare relative efficiency, and engage better with road users. Sharing roadsmaintenance services on a regional basis can offer significant benefits but progress in developing thishas been slow and there is still no clear plan or timetable to deliver it in practice.Councils maintain most of Scotland's roads network. The proportion of these roads classed as beingin acceptable condition has remained constant at around 63 per cent over the four years 2011/12 to2014/15. Councils' spending on maintenance fell by 14 per cent over the same period. There is awide variation among councils and concern that current surveys do not always pick up damage tolower road layers.Accounts Commission chair Douglas Sinclair, said: "The state of our roads is a major concern for thepublic. Surveys show that they remain dissatisfied, despite these concerns being flagged up in ourtwo previous reports. Their voice needs to be listened to."Councils face increasing pressures and challenges but progress in developing a shared servicesapproach for roads has been disappointingly slow. They can and should collaborate much more tosecure better value for money."Transport Scotland maintains motorways and key trunk routes where spending fell by four per centbetween 2011/12 and 2014/15. The proportion in acceptable condition also fell from 90 per cent to 87per cent over the same period. Transport Scotland spent £24 million less on structural maintenance in2014/15 than it considered necessary to maintain road condition at current levels.Auditor General Caroline Gardner said: "A well-maintained roads network is vital for Scotland'seconomic prosperity. We cannot afford to neglect it. What is needed is a longer term view which takesinto account both the need for new roads and the proper maintenance of what we have at present."

    The full report can be read at https://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/re...ow-up-report-0

    Councils have been spending lesson roads maintenance for many years and it has been showing up for the last few.

    Some estimates put the repairs bill as high as £7billion.

    Engineers have been reporting for a long time that the Highland West Coast roads are in the worst position. The problem we in Caithness do not see them often and to make matters worse a lot of the damage is out of sight on those roads under the ground. They know this as they do regular surveys to see what is going on under the surface and they are literally breaking up. Some parts need a complete rebuild and the government has all the information.

    Council budgets have effectively been reduced for many years and not kept up with inflation so with competing priorities roads maintenance gets delayed.

    Scotland is pending a fortune on dualing various roads including the A9 - perhaps more priority should have been given to existing roads in need of repair. Do we really need to save a few minutes from Perth to Inverness. also none seem to comment on the fact that dualing means doubling the rood surface etc and will need much more spent on maintenance in future.

    So far no one has come up with a solution except to say spend more without saying what budget the money will come from. If the council were to cdouble the roads budget for 10 years it would still not be enough.

    People are often unclear who is responsible for which bit of road. EG the A99 runs into Wick to the Cliff outside the old John O'Groat news office at Caithness General - from there its a council road into town.

    Also remember the trunk roads are not council roads that are out on contract from Transport Scotland.

    So do we want to may more taxes or cut something else. And a lot of things have been cut in the last few years already.

    There are many things to think about - like a few years ago the cost of tar almost doubled in a year as it is an oil based product and subject to market forces.

  11. #11

    Default

    can you tell bill ihave been going upto thurso during the bad weather and there was snow on the road the whole way up until you come to the A9 turn of then from there to thurso the roads are black no snow

  12. #12

    Default

    It's good to see all the info on the reports and info on this topic in order to understand why we have ended up in this crisis.

    However the bottom line is that the people running the whole of Scotland and particularly the North have not invested sufficient funds for more than ten years. They thought they could just bodge things up and spend funds on other novelty vote catching projects down south. Now they have a massive task and monumental cost to get the roads back to an acceptable standard, something that will, in past experience, take years to complete.

    In the meantime the people of the Highlands are expected to be happy to suffer the consequences of what is basically bad management.

    No more excuses, no more elongated explanations, Scottish Government and Highland Council, just get the issue sorted out as quickly as possible before someone gets injured !

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bowler View Post
    However the bottom line is that the people running the whole of Scotland and particularly the North have not invested sufficient funds for more than ten years. They thought they could just bodge things up and spend funds on other novelty vote catching projects down south. Now they have a massive task and monumental cost to get the roads back to an acceptable standard, something that will, in past experience, take years to complete.
    Any chance you could provide some real, hard evidence to back this up. For example:- any figures to show actual investment over the last 10 years and any evidence of people bodging things up to the detriment of the north. Thank you.

  14. #14

    Default

    @ Bill Fernie. You wrote - "Scotland is pending a fortune on dualing various roads including the A9 - perhaps more priority should have been given to existing roads in need of repair. Do we really need to save a few minutes from Perth to Inverness. also none seem to comment on the fact that dualing means doubling the rood surface etc and will need much more spent on maintenance in future.".

    The dualling of the A9 surely has more to do with safety than saving a few minutes on the journey. The accident statistics for that part of the road are appalling. It must make sense to do something about that. A total of 69 people died between 2017 and 2019. That is too high a toll to ignore.
    Last edited by Corky Smeek; 14-Apr-21 at 13:27.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Wick, Caithness
    Posts
    1,664

    Default

    I would agree about the accident rate. Perhaps the blackspots could be dealt with without the need to dual all the way. A reduction in the speed limit might help on the safety issue although that is not popular with many drivers I am sure.

    All councils have had a road problem for most of the last 20 years or more. The reasons are many - from increased traffic numbers, and in particular the increase in the weight of lorries. On truck is we are told the equivalent of one thousand cars going over the same bit of road due to the weight.

    It might have made more sense to upgrade the rail system to deal with the loads rather than more trucks.

    To some extent we have been living off investments made in the past and not keeping up with infrastructure repairs due to shortages of money. The 2008 crash added to the problems and one of many visible results has been the road deteriorating even further. The continuing austerity will now be followed up by the pandemic austerity.

  16. #16

    Default

    No I haven't got written facts and figures but the state of the roads speaks for itself and it is a fact. I have had many correspondences with The Highland Council and The Scottish Government and neither have disputed that the road conditions are unacceptable. It does irritate me though when they say the past winter is the reason for the state of the roads today. The lack of quality maintenance for many years has finally caught up with THC. As for figures I'm sure there are plenty out there but that was then, we need to look at here and now.


    The current situation is that the Scottish Government say they have supplied adequate funding to THC and it is their sole responsibility to ensure the funds are spent correctly. The Highland Council have committed to spend £21.3 million on the roads during the next two years, this in my humble opinion will not be enough. So what happens next ?


    I notice Halfords signs have appeared in Thurso, they must have been tipped off there is a good market for damaged underbody car parts in the Highlands.


    Regards the duelling of the A9, I sadly doubt that it will lead to a reduction in the death toll. I used to use that road all too often and saw the aftermath of a number of crashes, nearly all were at junctions and even where it was already dual carriageway. Fortunately I no longer have to drive that road so do not know exactly what work is being done but may be putting islands at some of the junctions could be tried although it would be unpopular with some drivers.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    1,729

    Default

    I suppose we could always apply for EU funding to repair the roads?

    ......oops, my bad, guess we can't anymore... I wonder why?
    “We're trapped in the belly of this horrible machine....
    And the machine is bleeding to death."


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •