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£7.7M capital investment for strategic road schemes across Highlands

By Gregor White

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Councillors are to consider allocation of more than £7m for roadworks.
Councillors are to consider allocation of more than £7m for roadworks.

Members at next week’s meeting of Highland Council’s economy and infrastructure committee will allocate £7.7m of funds for roads maintenance.

Chairman of the committee, Councillor Ken Gowans, said: “Many of our roads are suffering from lack of attention due to limited resources over a number of years.

"The capital allocation for roads has been significantly increased for 2023/24. I am sure the committee members will join me in welcoming the £7.7 million of capital funding for strategic projects as it will allow us to address the poor condition on some of our road assets across the region.

“The project list the committee will discuss has been compiled taking a diverse approach, looking at urban and rural localities as well as all classes of roads, including where representations from members or the public had been received.

"These strategic projects are additional to the ones already agreed by area committees who have considered their share of capital investment.

“By targeting these strategic projects, which can all be started and completed over the coming year, we hope to make a positive impact with the resources available to us.”

Council convener Bill Lobban added: “It was a key budget decision by the Highland Council to significantly increase the capital allocation for road so it is good to know that plans are under way for the money to be spent to improve roads in our communities.”

The strategic projects members will be considering are spread across all geographic areas of the Highlands and include the following:

Badenoch & Strathspey: Overlay works on the A939 Bridge of Brown route

Caithness: Overlay and inlay works to the A99 Wick - John O’Groats route; overlay works on the U2052 at Shebster and on the C1010 Dunnet - Corsback Road.

Inverness: Overlay works on the B851 Farr to A9 and the A833 at Glen Convinth; inlays work on the U4608 Carsegate Road.

Nairn: Overlay works on the B9101 B9090 junction to Geddes Burn

Ross and Cromarty: Inlay works to the A890 at West Achnasheen and overlay works on the A890 at Achnashellach

Sutherland: Overlay works on the A836 Tongue - Thurso and on the A897 Helmsdale – Melvich road; Edge strengthening works on the B9176 Ardgay – Evanton road and inlay works to the A839 Lairg – The Mound.

The full list is available here

The committee will also discuss the results of the Scottish Road Maintenance Condition Survey for 2022/23.

This independent survey is an annual survey which assesses the condition of the Scottish adopted road network and is used to calculate a Road Condition Indicator (RCI) used by Audit Scotland as a Statutory Performance Indicator for reporting road condition.

It is normal practice to wait until all local authority results are available before publishing the findings.

However the committee will be asked to agree that the Highland RCI result is published online ahead of a detailed report being presented to a future committee, citing high interest from the public.

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