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Letter to Transport Minister meets with disappointing response

5th February 2018

Councillor Allan Henderson, Chair of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee, has expressed his disappointment in the lack of promised support for local authorities struggling to fund the extra pressures caused by the winter weather.

He said: "The Highland Council has the largest roadwork of any local authority in the UK, with nearly 7,000km of regional roads and over 1,700km of footways. We have a commitment to keep the Highlands moving, ensure emergency services can operate and provide a safer environment for communities. We prioritise our winter budget accordingly and do the best we can within our policy. It has however been an exceptionally severe winter with snow and ice affecting our road network and the knock on effect of this will be significant damage to road surfaces throughout the region.

"Although we currently have adequate supplies of grit, there has been a considerable cost in manpower, meaning our winter budget is considerably overspent, and we can expect to be left facing a huge repair bill to fix the pothole damage exacerbated by the icy and fluctuating conditions.

“It is therefore, extremely disappointing that the Transport Minister's generous offer of help to local authorities like ours, on 17th January, has come to no financial benefit. The goodwill, it seems, disappears as quickly as the snow!"

 

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