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Pothole road is council’s …but they won’t fix it

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By Fiona Reid
Front

COUNCIL bosses have admitted to owning a pothole infested road in Moffat — but say it’s not their job to fix it.

Last month members of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s economy environment and infrastructure committee decided not to help meet the costs of repairing crater riddled Ladyknowe Crescent.

Residents and business owners have been holding regular meetings to try and find a solution and funds to fix the crumbling road, but have been marred by ownership issues and not knowing who is responsible for the land.

In May Dumfries and Galloway Council told this newspaper that they were investigating the road’s ownership and maintenance responsibilities of the road.

And last week the economy, environment and infrastructure department director Alistair Speedie admitted inaletter to Ladyknowe businessman Roy AndertonTyers,that the council did own the road.

However, Mr Speedie explained that despite being the owners of the road, the council passed the responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep of the road to those who were granted access rights by the council.

Confirming the situation, a council spokesman said: “The council own the road but responsibility for the upkeep was passed to those who were granted access rights to the road by the council when the council sold them or their predecessors the ground.”

Branding the council’s position ‘absurd’, Roy has blasted them for ‘’off-loading’ the burden.

He said: “This is an absurd and inequitable situation created entirely by the council and its predecessors, that renders any agreement on allocating responsibility or liability, let alone repair costs, totally impossible.”

Recently Annandale North councillors offered to foot part of the bill to help bring the road back up to standard. Stephen Thompson and Gail Macgregor offeredashare of their discretionary ward capital budget, but only if private owners and businesses using the road also agree to cough up.

Although calling the offer ‘much appreciated’, Roy explained that since some properties come with a burden and others have no obligation to help meet the bill it would prove difficult to raise the funds.

He said: “By my reckoning around 37 proprietors’ titles include burdens in respect of road maintenance, whereas the titles of around 22 proprietors do not and some are required to contribute only £5 a year.”

Roy plans to continue lobbying council bosses until a fair solution is brought forward.