Highland Council has agreed to spend an additional £20 million for road maintenance programme as well as agree to continue with the current distribution method for the £7.2m base allocation figure.
This means that the additional £20 million will be spent at a strategic , area, and ward level as well as investment in specialised road maintenance vehicles/plant and on active travel.
The Highland Council has the longest road network in the UK with 4,000 miles of local roads, 1,000 miles of footpaths and 1,400 bridges spanning a region covering one third of Scotland.
A budget of £3.7m per annum will be allocated to strategic road maintenance schemes with the aim to target some of the larger, more costly schemes, where significant investment may be required to improve the existing road network, or towards strategic projects which tie in with investment from developer contributions and potential match funding for improvements.
A budget of £3.6m per annum will be distributed across the Operational Areas using the same historic methodology which utilises the road condition survey results (SRMCS). Area Road Managers will consult Members on their proposals for the next two years.
In terms of the £7.2m base allocation – £5.2m will be distributed between the Areas for road resurfacing and surface dressing works with £650K allocated for bridge maintenance, £500K for match funding to support bids made under the Strategic Timber Transport Schemes, and £850K for schemes involving road markings, signage, safety fencing, winter drainage and footways across all geographic areas.
Chair Cllr Trish Robertson said: “The increased spending on roads infrastructure reflects our commitment to invest as much as we can on improving our road network. This is a high priority for us, our communities and fundamental to connectivity and the entire economy of the Highlands.
“We have the largest network of roads of any Local Authority and our staff have to deal with some of the most severe weather in the UK so this investment is very welcome and will go some way to addressing work that is needed.”