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Potholes plugged by Highland Council on 'beyond ridiculous' Balintore/Portmahomack to Balmuchy crossroads route in Easter Ross – but how long will they last?

By Hector MacKenzie

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We have been highlighting issues with roads in Ross-shire.
We have been highlighting issues with roads in Ross-shire.

HIGHLAND Council has taken action to plug potholes on a stretch of Easter Ross road branded “beyond ridiculous”.

Earlier this month we reported how Muriel Watson came a cropper in a deep rut while swerving to avoid an oncoming lorry in the middle of the road between the Balintore/Portmahomack junction to Balmuchy crossroads.

The experienced driver who knows the road well lived to tell the tale but ended up with extensive damage to her car.

Her Renault Captur caught one of the many potholes on the road from the Balintore/Portmahomack junction to Balmuchy crossroads.

Husband Tony confirmed the council had undertaken “temporary” repairs after our story but warned the huge trucks using the roads would soon tear them up.

Tony Watson: Wants action.
Tony Watson: Wants action.

Mr Watson earlier said: "It’s a start and at least the immediate danger has been dealt with on this small stretch of the B9165 to Balmuchy crossroads – trouble is, as we all know, these pothole repairs are very temporary but we are grateful for the action taken to resolve the issue.

"I have a lot of sympathy for the council with their many hundreds of miles of minor roads to maintain. In the 35+ years that we have lived here, there has been a huge increase in the number of large, heavy and wide commercial vehicles that these roads were never meant to carry. Every time two of these meet, another section of verge and road-edge is potentially damaged. It would require draconian legislation to rectify which would have major business implications, so that will not happen."

A spokesperson for Highland Council said: “Our teams have been working extremely hard in Ross-shire to address the issue with potholes on the roads.

“We have had Nuphalt in the area recently. They have a vehicle with a crane which extends from the rear of the vehicle which heats up the road with a thermal oven. They then fill the pothole, heat it again and compact it. It is a very good system and specifically useful in towns and villages. They can fill approximately 35 pot holes per day and have been used heavily in Ross-shire.

“We also have the recently purchased JCB Pot Hole Pro which also speeds up the number of potholes our teams can fill in a day. We are aiming to move from temporary repair to permanent ones with use of these resources.”

He added: “However, the budget we get is not infinite and everything we do stretches the budget. It not only pays for contractors, plant, materials and labour, but also has to cover winter operations. Last winter for example was very bad.”


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Has your vehicle been damaged as a result of problems on the roads in Ross-shire? Story to share? Email hector.mackenzie@hnmedia.co.uk

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