Roads almost back to normal, say council

Resurfacing: At Westhill
Resurfacing: At Westhill

A major maintenance programme to improve the condition of Aberdeenshire’s roads this summer is nearing completion.

The annual road maintenance programme has been ongoing over the summer months with travel restrictions, diversions and road closures in place.

Some have been completed up to a week early including the A944 Aberdeen to Alford road with a detour of over 35 miles.

Each year the council approves an annual programme consisting of a combination of essential reactive repair work, such as patching and pothole repairs, and preventative maintenance works including road reconstruction, resurfacing and surface dressing.

The programme’s main emphasis is on accident prevention and the council will have surface dressed almost 125 miles of roads - double the Scottish average - when the scheme is completed.

In the current financial year, the council plan to spend in excess of £23 million managing and maintaining the Aberdeeshire roads network which includes the maintenance of roads, bridges and street lighting, including £2.7 million on patching and pothole repairs, £5.9 million on surface dressing and a further £6.1 million on road resurfacing.

This includes a proportion of an additional £2 million allocated to road maintenance over the next two financial years, in direct response to the damage caused by exceptional weather last winter.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Head of Roads and Landscape Services, Philip McKay, said: “Unfortunately, the unavoidable consequence of carrying out this work is that it cannot be done without causing some inconvenience to the travelling public.

“There is inevitably some disruption while this work is in progress and the council apologises for any inconvenience caused.”

Chairman of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, Peter Argyle, said: “We live in a large and varied geographical area which poses particular challenges, not to mention the length of the road network which is far greater than many other local authorities.

‘‘However, we do commit large amounts of money to keep it in shape and improve it and we hope travellers across the area will really see the benefit of that.”