East Ayrshire Council has increased the roads budget for 2019/20 from £3.505m to £7m, and the ambitious improvement programme that will target the bridge and road network.
East Ayrshire’s roads infrastructure is one of the Council’s most valuable assets and is vital to the area’s economic well-being, contributing significantly to the local economy and regeneration. The Road Condition Index (RCI) reflects the condition of roads within East Ayrshire, and thanks to an additional investment of over £6m for surfacing works and pothole repairs in 2018/19; there has been an improvement in our RCI rating.
Evidence from data gathered clearly shows that significant investment is required to maintain the road network at its current level and that without investment the road condition would deteriorate requiring more expensive resurfacing works to be carried out. The Council has therefore taken the decision to invest over £15m this year in the road network including structural maintenance road surfacing, footway maintenance, street lighting improvements including LED light replacement, flooding works at New Cumnock, bridge and culvert strengthening and transportation.
Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of the Council said: “This investment in our road network reflects the importance of improved infrastructure on the economic development and regeneration of East Ayrshire. The Ayrshire Roads Alliance, in consultation with Elected Members, Community Councils and Community Action Plan Steering Groups, has developed an ambitious programme of improvements that will ensure the safety of our roads and bridges and will see 65km of road being surfaced in the next year.”
The Alliance has committed to continuing to employ innovative resurfacing techniques as part of the improvement programme. A section of road between Dunlop and Neilston was resurfaced recently using plastic additives. This surface is being monitored regularly and further investigations are being undertaken to ensure that the material is cost effective and hard wearing before a commitment is made to resurfacing additional stretches of road with this material.
Councillor Jim Roberts, Cabinet Member for Economy and Infrastructure said: “By re-profiling of the road and bridge programmes the Council is able to sustain the significant increased and necessary investment in our infrastructure.
“This increased funding will ensure a strong focus on addressing the quality of the infrastructure asset. We are responding to our community’s needs and ensuring the improved safety of both our roads and bridges.”