Road surfaces are improving; capital programme projects have been completed on time and on budget and winter resilience plans are in place and working well – that’s is just some of the good news from the Ayrshire Roads Alliance annual review.
During 2017/2018, the condition of roads within East and South Ayrshire have improved with both authorities reporting improved Road Condition Index figures. Responses to customers enquiries has also improved significantly since the Alliance began in 2014; 85% of enquiries are now answered within agreed timescales.
The Alliance has had a key role in large-scale projects over the last financial year including the new build schools in Kilmarnock and Cumnock, assessing and preparing plans for traffic management, drainage and flood risk considerations.
They also delivered complex projects including the New Cumnock flood project at the Leggate and have supported the Ayrshire Growth Deal team hosting a summit on the importance of transport links for economic growth.
Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of the Council said: “The Ayrshire Roads Alliance annual review is good news for the people of Ayrshire. The condition of our roads has improved, the Alliance is delivering large-scale projects to support our capital programme and protect our communities from flooding.
“Last winter was exceptional. We used 14,000 tonnes of salt, which is the largest amount since 1996, and the road surface was damaged significantly by the prolonged period of severe weather. In response, the Council developed an extensive £6m road resurfacing programme which took place over the summer months. 60km of local roads have been resurfaced with teams moving away from temporary repairs on isolated patches and potholes to substantial stretches being resurfaced. We have all seen great improvements in our wards and this will only continue to improve as teams become more agile with new technologies being introduced to allow inspectors to work on site or remotely.”
Councillor Jim Roberts, Cabinet Member for Economy and Infrastructure said: “The work that was carried out last winter by the Alliance will stand us in good stead for the winter ahead. 25 community groups throughout East Ayrshire are now working with the Alliance to provide pavement gritting.
“A great example of this is the Gritter Gang within Ochiltree who have received Participatory Budgeting funding to buy equipment and have worked with the Alliance, receiving training and further equipment to support their efforts.
“This year gritter tracking will be available on the Ayrshire Roads Alliance website, which is a great step forward and the Alliance will be hosting two resilience conferences called ‘Cold Comfort’, on Tuesday 20 and Thursday 22 November, which will help to encourage our local communities to Get Ready for Winter.
“In addition to the excellent work being carried out tackling road defects and our extensive preparations for winter; I must also commend the Alliance for their work at the Leggate. The flood protection works have already led to a decline in the number of flood alerts issued for this area. Phase two of the works will start next year at the Afton Water providing further protection to the people of New Cumnock.”