'Urgent action' needed to improve Scottish roads

The state of Scottish roads is in the spotlight. Credit: ITV Border

Urgent action is needed to improve the condition of Scotland's roads, according to a new report.

Audit Scotland revealed 63% of local council-maintained roads are in acceptable state, a proportion unchanged since 2011/12.

Despite 13 local authorities increasing spending on road maintenance, overall expenditure has decreased by 14%, from £302 million in 2011/12 to £259 million in 2014/15.

Councils spent £33 million less on maintenance in 2014/15 than the amount considered necessary to maintain the current condition of local roads, the report said.

The state of trunk roads, the responsibility of Transport Scotland, declined over the same period from 90% in an acceptable condition to 87%.

Transport Scotland spending on trunk roads maintenance fell 4% from £168 million to £162 million.

The report said the body spent £24 million (38%) less on structural maintenance in 2014/15 than was necessary to maintain the current condition of trunk roads.

Council body Cosla said the findings should be seen as a success in the context of austerity and rising demand for services.

The state of Scottish roads is in the spotlight. Credit: ITV Border

More than half (57%) of road users reported that the condition of the carriageways is a major concern.

Audit Scotland estimated that poor or defective road conditions may have contributed to six fatal, 64 serious and 234 slight road traffic accidents over the five-year period.