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Community councils vent at state of roads

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
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Community councils vent at state of roads

COMMUNITY councillors locally are taking full advantage of an opportunity to vent their frustration over the state of the region’s roads.

A survey on the condition of local roads and footpaths, and the service provided by Dumfries and Galloway Council, has just been made available.

Members of the public are invited to have their say on the condition of roads and repairs service.

The survey, which is carried out by APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence), asks residents to rate the roads and transport service on everything from the condition of roads and street lighting to gritting and snow clearing of roads and footpaths.

The council posted a link to the online survey on its Facebook page on Tuesday morning. Within the first hour, three local community councils – Hoddam and Ecclefechan, Gretna and Rigg, and Kirkconnel and Kelloholm – had shared it to encourage others to fill it in.

Calum Craig, chairman of Hoddom and Ecclefechan Community Council, said: “I’ve found that the council are very slow at carrying out road repairs, especially when you report them. Problems are just left for way too long.

“There’s a real issue with drainage around where I live (Ecclefechan). Half the drains are blocked and, when there are big puddles everywhere for extended periods of time, that’s not good for the condition of the roads.

“The council should have a maintenance crew sorting these drainage issues on our roads.”

Carol Currie, chairwoman of Closeburn Community Council, said that she will likely fill in the survey to highlight roads issues faced in and around Thornhill.

She said: “We’ve had issues with potholes, even on the back roads. Some of them are that big you could go for a swim in them!

“It’s a problem that crops up at community council meetings. People come in complaining about burst tyres or needing new springs due to the state of roads locally and on the A76.”

Alexander Thomson, chairman of Gretna and Rigg Community Council, added: “The roads issue gets brought up at every one of our community council meetings.

“A couple of our ward councillors are usually in attendance, and they go away fighting on our behalf but it seems as if their hands are tied.”

Mr Thomson argued that too many patch-up jobs are done by the council, adding: “It usually leaves a bump on the road and there are no road markings because they don’t come back and line it properly. This can be a hazard.

“It needs to be done right, some of the roads need to be completely resurfaced.”

In March, the council stated that a three-year £2.4m investment was made to address the backlog of pothole and drainage defects across Dumfries and Galloway. An additional £960,000 was to be ploughed in this financial year.

A council spokesman said: “All defects reported by the public are inspected and an appropriate repair will be considered.

“The council prepares an annual programme of resurfacing sites to the value of circa £7.4m which is to deal with the most significant locations with substantial defects.”

The survey can be found at: https://crowd.in/lIkf6W

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