(*Planned Preventative Maintenance)

Over £15m invested across carriageways and footways in 2018/19 – almost £6m more than the previous year – has seen conditions on Edinburgh’s roads reach the most significant single year improvement in more than a decade .

The Capital’s Roads Condition Index (RCI), an independent rating given annually as part of the Scottish Roads Maintenance Condition Survey (SRMCS), is also the city’s best since 2011/12.

The latest RCI will be presented to Transport and Environment Committee today (Friday, 11 October). It has been directly attributed to the Council’s preventative approach to road renewals, introduced in 2015/16, which targets more mid-range ‘amber’ category road defects than severe ‘red’ category defects, slowing deterioration and reducing the need for expensive treatments.

This, along with an increased output for capital improvement projects arising from better design and delivery procedures and a new contract framework, has resulted in a drop in the number of ‘category one’ road defects needing urgent repair identified, from 1034 in 2017/18 to 569 in 2018/19.

Fixing things before they break is now the way forward

Transport and Environment Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said: “These figures demonstrate in black and white the impact our approach to improving our network of roads and pavements is having.

“There is no doubt that road conditions have suffered as a result of severe winter weather last year and the downpours of this summer, and I appreciate how frustrating potholed streets and uneven pavement surfaces can be for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers alike.

“However, I’m confident that through ongoing investment, our innovative approach to resurfacing and the range of major projects to be carried out this year, we will continue to see our streets improve.”

A budget of £16m has been allocated for capital projects improving roads and pavements during 2019/20, with over 100 carriageway and 50 footway surface treatments expected to be carried out this year and a range of schemes to enhance the network already underway.

These include major road resurfacing projects on Portobello Road, Liberton Gardens and Gilmerton Road, as well as the renewal of setts on Brighton Place, due for completion next month (November).

The roads team will also continue its use of ‘re-tread surfacing’ to maintain roads, a cost-effective solution introduced earlier this year allowing deteriorated road surfaces to be recycled and reused in-situ. The treatment, which reduces the carbon footprint of works by recycling materials, was used on more than 3km of roads in Edinburgh last year.

Amongst other capital investment last year was £275k to improve drainage, a £719k spend on bus stop maintenance, including associated carriageway improvements, and £111k on repairing and installing dropped crossings.

In 2019/20 capital projects will include the resurfacing of roads designated as diversion routes during the construction of the tram to Newhaven line, to which £2m has been allocated.

Read the full report, Roads Infrastructure Capital Investment Update, on the Council website.