Glasgow's £36m drive to repair potholes

Glasgow is to spend £36million repairing the city's crumbling roads over the next two years.

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The Evening Times Pothole Watch campaign has highlighted state of the city's crumbling roads
The Evening Times Pothole Watch campaign has highlighted state of the city's crumbling roads

In January, the council's ruling Labour group announced it planned to spend £12m this year and the same again in 2014 in an attempt to improve the state of the roads.

But today it revealed an extra £12m has been found to tackle potholes and cracked surfaces.

The move comes on the back of the Evening Times Pothole Watch campaign, which highlights the grim conditions encountered by drivers on a daily basis.

Council leader Gordon Matheson said: "Glaswegians have every right to expect good roads. Our job is to try and match their expectations – and that needs serious investment.

"Three years ago, we rapidly increased our spending and we are starting to see the clear benefit of that work now.

"We are now going to go further to ensure we build on those improvements, reaching busy city centre streets and residential roads and fixing thousands of potholes."

The cash boost is in addition to the £46m the council has spent on road repairs in the past three years.

Council bosses say the extra money will mean a major programme of improvements, focusing on the roads most in need of attention.

In the year from April, around £8m will be spent on resurfacing and £4m on high quality permanent patching.

That will mean:

l Permanently repairing about 15,000 potholes.

l Treating about 200 residential roads covering 22 miles with a special surface to avoid them breaking up.

l Carrying out almost 90,000 square metres of patching repairs.

l Completing five new major surface dressing schemes covering nine miles of the network to prolong the life of the roads.

l Resurfacing 35 residential roads covering 10 miles.

l Resurfacing 57 main roads, including Commonwealth Games routes, over 12 miles.

The council says the extra money will also provide jobs for apprentices and skilled workers and business opportunities for engineering companies and supply chains.

The £36m programme is included in Labour's £2.3billion annual budget for the next two years. It is due to be approved later today at a special meeting of the council.

Glasgow leaders say they had to find £70m of savings because of Scottish Government cuts to council spending.

They say this has been found through a range of measures, including axing 600 jobs – most of them home helps – through voluntary redundancies, not filling posts, retirals and people leaving for other jobs or personal reasons.

There have been no compulsory redundancies.

Parking charges will be introduced for residents in a number of new locations and on-street charges for the first hour will almost treble in some areas.

The cost of attending Glasgow Life gyms, swimming pools and fitness classes will go up 3% this year and a further 2% next year, as will library charges and venue hire.

There will be a 10% increase in council nursery charges and school meals will rise from £1.15 to £1.40 from August, with a further 10p increase in August 2014. Bosses say it will be the first increase in school meal charges for seven years.

The cost of a pupil's breakfast will double from 50p to £1, while a charge of 25p will be introduced for fruit and snacks in primaries.

The council is also planning to save £75,000 by closing four school swimming pools, which it says are rundown.

vivienne.nicoll@eveningtimes.co.uk

Local government

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