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‘Long-term fix better than road patchwork’ for potholes insists SNP's Highland Council opposition leader

By Louise Glen

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Cllr Raymond Bremner by a road that has been patch filled.
Cllr Raymond Bremner by a road that has been patch filled.

The opposition leader on Highland Council is appealing to councillors not to take second best when it comes to plugging potholes.

SNP councillor Raymond Bremner said filling potholes was not the answer to a complex problem.

Instead, he is calling for an effective and sustainable roads strategy to be put in place through the council’s redesign board, of which he is joint vice-chairman.

He said: “There are some fine examples of new road repairs in Caithness that make everyone smile when they drive on them.

“This is completely different patching – getting rid of potholes and failing road surfaces.

“There is still a huge amount of work to be done, and we need to think long-term when it comes to improving the roads around the Highlands.

“Before the lockdown I travelled between Caithness and Oban in Argyll at least once a month to conduct my women’s Gaelic choir. I am probably one of few people who travels the full road network and there are huge differences between the roads in each of the wards.

“Some of the recent road repairs in Caithness are incredible, much better than we expected. I am keen to see that standard replicated elsewhere.

“We have now been carrying out a much improved standard of permanent road surface repair. There is a marginal difference in financial cost in the short term, although it takes longer to do, but we would rather that and a better fix.”

“It is hoped that the roads will last longer than previously.”

Cllr Bremner told a council meeting earlier this year that people did not want potholes repaired.He said the statement may come as a surprise to many, but he added: “What would you rather, a bumpy ride on a road with poor patchwork pothole filling, or a good, permanent surface repair?”

Chairwoman of Highland Council’s economy and infrastructure committee, Councillor Trish Robertson, said while she appreciated Cllr Bremner’s remarks, road workers from the council deserved praise for all their hard work.

She added: “Temporary repairs will still be needed to prepare for surface dressing and while a particular section awaits its time to be repaired.”

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