Third of roads in Scotland 'bad'

Motorists are being warned that the condition of Scotland's road network is worsening, with more than a third of the country's roads in an unacceptable condition, a report has shown.

The research published by Audit Scotland has found that just 63% of the country's roads are in acceptable condition, and public satisfaction has fallen.

Findings further revealed that the maintenance backlog for repairs - the amount Transport Scotland and local authorities would need to spend to fix all road defects - has increased by £1 billion to £2.25 billion since 2004.

The report is urging the Scottish Government to consider a national review into the management and maintenance of the country's road network.

It follows the government's move to reduce trunk road maintenance Budget funding by 20% from £133 million to £107 million for 2010/11. Local government budgets have also been reduced by 4%.

Robert Black, Auditor General for Scotland, said: "Members of the public are increasingly dissatisfied with the condition of our roads. The pattern of spending and scale of backlog means that the value of these public assets is not being sustained.

"But by deferring essential expenditure on infrastructure, public bodies are storing up problems for the future and passing a greater burden onto generations to come."

According to the report, which examines progress on implementing the recommendations made in a previous audit published in 2004, £654 million was spent on maintaining roads in 2009/10.

It found that £162 million of the total went on trunk roads and £492 million was spent on local roads - which represents an increase of £32 million on spending in 2004/05.

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