SEVERAL local Councillors have called for Aberdeenshire Council to make a priority of repairing road surfaces in the area.
Stonehaven residents speaking at last week’s community council meeting highlighted the road leading to the new Edenholme Care Home as being in a particularly bad state of disrepair after heavy construction vehicles regularly used the road while the care home was being constructed.
Other stretches of road identified as being in urgent need of repair were Evan Street just outside the library, and Slug Road leading up to Mackie Academy.
In Laurencekirk residents identified Provost Robson Drive as a problem area for potholes.
Stonehaven Councillors Wendy Agnew, Raymond Christie and Graeme Clark have all spoken out this week about the need for action.
Cllr Agnew told the Leader: “I have reported the condition of the roads leading to the Edenholme Care Home twice already and in fact reported it last week again.
“The residents were promised that the roads would be repaired after the construction of the home was finished and to date this has not been done. I sincerely hope that the roads dept will now make this a priority.”
Cllr Christie said: “The roads leading to Edenholme and Evan Street need repaired as a matter of urgency.
Slug Road near Mackie Academy also has potholes and needs repaired.
“Commuters have complained to me that the south carriageway on the A90 between Newtonhill and Stonehaven needs repaired and I have contacted BEAR Scotland to draw attention to the potholes on this stretch of road. Vehicles hitting these could result in a serious accident.
“I have also contacted the roads department in Stonehaven to get these potholes fixed.”
Cllr Graeme Clark warned that, if action is not taken now, the local authority will be facing an even bigger problem next winter. He said: “The road surfaces in Aberdeenshire are in a poor state of repair. Many drivers have tales of hitting potholes without warning and some have suffered damage to their vehicles. I have often myself come across bits of broken springs lying in the gutters.
“The irony of this is that Aberdeenshire council have accumulated an underspend of £53million over the last 2 years and are currently heading for an estimated £28 million amount this year.
“Over the Easter break I travelled in other areas of Scotland and Aberdeenshire roads are in a worse state than others. Let’s prioritise the re-surfacing of our road network over the next months. If we don’t, the problem will be even worse next winter, when, no doubt, extreme weather will again be the norm.
“The roads around the School Road area of Stonehaven have suffered during the building of the Edenholme facility and I would ask the council if the contractors have a responsibility for their repair.”
Aberdeenshire Council’s head of roads and landscape services, Philip McKay, said: “We actively encourage road users to make us aware of any damaged sections of carriageway.
“While we make every effort to repair potholes as quickly as possible, repairs are treated on a priority basis to ensure that we rectify the most serious ones first.
“If you are aware of a damaged section of road, please call 08456 081285, text 07624 820722 or visit http://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/roads/faults.asp to report the defect.”
A spokesperson for Aberdeenshire Council added: “Winter weather invariably leads to problems with potholes due to the freeze and thaw cycle. Aberdeenshire Council maintains more than 3,400 miles of roads throughout the north-east and is fully committed to improving the condition of these roads. The most common defect with road surfacing is potholes, which can appear without warning on any standard of road.
“A system of inspections is in place at Aberdeenshire Council to monitor road conditions and report any issues. It is likely that defects will occur between inspections and members of the public play an important role in alerting the council to the appearance of a defect.
“Response times are related to the severity of the damage and can vary. Defects are categorised depending on their severity; defects posing an immediate danger to the public are inspected and actioned within 24 hours, while all other defects are inspected and repaired by a date specified by the inspector.”