The vast majority of Scots want the government to prioritise the repair of the existing road network over building new roads.
Transform Scotland has released the results of a new survey showing 84% of people north of the border agree with the question “Do you think the Scottish Government should give priority to fixing the existing road network before building new roads?”.
Audit Scotland has reported the cost of getting all of Scotland’s existing road network into good repair at around £2.25 billion – a quarter of the £9 billion the Scottish Government has committed to spend on new roads.
Phil Matthews, Chair of Transform Scotland, said: “This survey clearly demonstrates that the vast majority of the Scottish public want the Scottish Government to prioritise repairing and maintaining our existing roads over building new ones. The people of Scotland want the Scottish Government to “Fix It First’.”
“Scotland’s existing roads, cycle paths and pavements are in an increasingly poor state of repair. Markings are deteriorating, pavements are damaged, and potholes are all too common, slowing down and diverting journeys, contributing to pedestrian, cyclist and motorist accidents, and resulting in expensive injuries and repair costs for travellers.
“Scottish roads are considered to be amongst the worst in the UK.
“Over the last five years, while the Scottish Government has increased the roads budget by 40%, there has been an ongoing failure to tackle the road maintenance backlog. That’s just not good enough.
“And the current financial settlement has led to Scottish Local Authorities not having the funds available to repair and maintain roads.
“It’s time the Scottish Government stepped in to fund these repairs and maintenance, which would bring benefit to individuals and businesses alike. It’s a mystery why the Scottish Government hasn’t already done so.
“There is obviously no shortage of money in the Scottish Government’s road infrastructure budget, the problem is it’s all directed to build new roads instead of repairing and maintaining the ones we’ve already got.”