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COUNCIL CAVES IN TO SNP PRESSURE ON RURAL ROAD REPAIRS

>> 8 October 2009

SHARED-COST REPAIRS SCHEME INTRODUCED

GLASSEL & FORDOUN ROADS SET TO BE UPGRADED

Aberdeenshire Council's Lib Dem/Conservative administration finally caved in today to repeated SNP demands to address the shocking state of many so-called 'unadopted' rural roads and agreed the implementation of a 'shared-cost' scheme and an initial tranche of 10 roads which will be upgraded.

SNP councillors have had a long-held commitment to introducing such a scheme and have put it forward at every council budget for many years now only to see it voted down by the Liberal Democrats and, last year, the Conservatives as well.

Thanks to sustained pressure on the subject, the council's Lib Dem/Conservative administration agreed to introduce a scheme at the last budget whereby the council will contribute half the cost of upgrading unadopted roads with the 'frontagers' – in effect the road owners – contributing the other half.

Commenting, Banchory & Mid-Deeside SNP councillor Linda Clark said:

"This has been a long time coming. SNP councillors have repeatedly and consistently called for a scheme to tackle this problem because these are not private roads we are talking about, these are rural roads which are used by school buses, refuse lorries, and Royal Mail and are public rights of way.

"It has been an issue which has featured regularly in my casework since I was elected in 2007.

"Of the 10 schemes approved by the council's Infrastructure Services Committee today, one is the unclassified Woodside Road at Glassel, where local residents have come forward and applied to the scheme and the council has now agreed to fund 50% of the upgrade costs."

Mearns SNP councillor Jean Dick, added:

"The cost of resurfacing these roads to those who own property along them – the frontagers – has been prohibitive in the past, but with this new scheme a start can at least be made to repair some of the rural infrastructure.

"I am pleased that the unclassified Kair Road at Fordoun in my Ward is also one of those which will benefit from the introduction of this scheme."

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