Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Pay As You Go Pothole Repairs?

The Inverness Courier is helping stir up a lot of fretting about the state of the roads with its rolling Pothole Hell coverage.

Today's edition even reveals a local business has a 400 signature petition calling on the council to "get it sorted".

It somewhat baffles me, simply moaning at the council. The Highland road network is gargantuan. Added to that the Age of Austerity. Added to that the coldest winter in 100 years worsening the cracks. Highland Council really are up against it.

So, here's an idea. Why don't those who use the roads most often chip in a few quid to speed up the repairs they're so keen to see happen? What's that? All gone quiet all of a sudden have we?

It's not so strange an idea. In fact it was heavily promoted by none other than Danny Alexander and Charles Kennedy of the Libdems (actually one's an old fashioned Tory Liberal and the other's ex SDP which is almost Labour) ahead of the general election. Here's a Libdem policy paper from a few years back.

So, next time your suspension goes whack in a rut down the Longman don't curse the council - shake your fist and ask why the Libdems haven't yet delivered on a pledge to introduce road charging. 


  1. I'd like all discussions on road creation and road fixing to be linked. They tend to be distinct leading to an apparantly nutty situation of bemoaning the lack of resources to up-keep the existing network whilst simultaneously finding resources to create more network that will mean additional up-keep (e.g. a southern crossing of the Ness, A9, A96, AWPR, M74 extension and Forth Road Bridge). If it hasn't already been done it would be useful, if someone had the knowledge and time, simply to tot up the total budget going into network expansion, the total budget required to maintain existing network, total budget available for maintaining existing network and the total budget required for maintaining the proposed expanded network. Perhaps Transform Scotland have done this?

  2. have i missed something what are paying we road tax for? yes the weather had a lot too do with the state of some of our roads but then not a lot we can do about the weather.

  3. Rog, an excellent point, which I've highlighted to someone who might be able to investigate.

    Growtosow, I'm afraid road tax isn't specifically for roads. I saw a documentary a while back in which Alasdair Darling (remember him?) explained it all just goes into one big tax pot.