This week Michelle Ballantyne, MSP for South Scotland, is calling for the Scottish Government to intervene to improve roads and potholes in East Lothian.
Mrs. Ballantyne wrote to the Transport Secretary over her concerns with the 28,000 potholes that have been reported in East Lothian over the last ten years.
The number of potholes reported on East Lothian roads has risen rapidly over the last decade. In 2012 there were 2,692 potholes recorded. Last year, this number rose by nearly 200 per cent, as there were over 5,000 potholes.
In her letter to Mr. Matheson, she outlined that East Lothian Council has already increased council tax rates to their maximum and will struggle to find the funding to fix roads.
The council will also have to allocate further resources towards compensating motorists whose vehicles were damaged by road conditions.
Mrs. Ballantyne urged the Transport Secretary to intervene. She argued that East Lothian council will be forced to make difficult sacrifices between protecting other public services and maintaining roads.
Last year, the Society of Chief Officers of Transportation in Scotland (SCOTS) raised concerns by suggesting that local authorities do not have enough cash “to maintain roads at the current state”.
Michelle Ballantyne MSP reiterated her and called on the Scottish Government to assist East Lothian council to promote a sustainable infrastructure plan.
Michelle Ballantyne MSP commented:
“Whether in Haddington, Broxburn or North Berwick, our streets in East Lothian are littered with potholes.
“Meanwhile, East Lothian Council have to raise council taxes just to reconcile the fact that the Scottish Government is decreasing their funding.
“This isn’t a short-term problem. A failure to deal with it now will mean that the our roads are only going to get worse.
“The Scottish Government has to recognise that our pothole problem is not going away on its own.
“East Lothian needs support in this matter and, so far, have not been able to count on the SNP to deliver.”
Lachlan Bruce, a councillor for Preston, Seton and Gosford has also highlighted the issue that East Lothian council is having with repairing potholes.
Cllr Lachlan Bruce commented:
“SNP government cuts to the Council's resources mean that we are being forced to make difficult choices.
“A visible sign of that coming through is the number of potholes appearing on roads in East Lothian.
"The Scottish Government should follow the lead of the Scottish Conservatives and commit £100 million in a national pothole fund so that communities like East Lothian can benefit."