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A £10million road reconstruction programme in Argyll and Bute has won the approval of councillors – but concerns have been raised over safety aspects of the planned work.
Cowal councillor Alan Reid (Liberal Democrat) has called for white lining to be completed on treated roads before the darker nights draw in, in order to make for safer driving.
A council officer acknowledged the problem existed, but getting the authority to undertake the work itself would not be financially viable.
The roads capital programme, which will see road repairs carried out in all corners of Argyll and Bute, was discussed by the council’s environment, development and infrastructure committee at its virtual meeting earlier this month.
Councillor Reid said: ‘I am delighted with the huge programme of roadworks we are undertaking this year, but a problem in previous years has been that when we do surface dressing in the summer, it is long nights, so the white lines getting obscured is not such an issue. But it means that when we get to the darker nights in October or November, it does become dangerous driving on these country roads.
‘;I think it is important that we organise the work so that the white lining gets repeated before we get to the darker nights.’
Jim Smith, the council’s head of amenity services, responded: ‘When the surface dressing is carried out, there is a period of time to get the chips to embed. This is done by rollers, and then by traffic. There are a number of loose chips that get swept up. Each of these processes takes different periods of time, so we can’t do the white lining straight away.
‘It is a problem that exists throughout Scotland, certainly in more rural areas, and we are working with colleagues at BEAR Scotland to bring in one set of lining contractors to do work on our roads and the trunk roads. But we do sometimes struggle to get road markings in place as quickly as we would like. We have contractors lined up.
‘We have looked, in the past, at delivering the line work ourselves but it does not really stack up financially. We would not be able to utilise the equipment enough to make it worthwhile.
‘It is a problem widely recognised across our industry. There is a lot of effort going into ensuring we comply, and it is particularly important this year with such a large programme.’
An additional £2.61 million was allocated to road reconstruction, bringing the programme up to £10m, as part of the council’s budget in February.