Repair

Dumfries and Galloway council admits rising costs are delaying essential repairs to Gatehouse potholes

Essential repairs to potholed roads are being delayed by rising costs and the availability of materials, Dumfries and Galloway council have admitted.

The local authority has recently come under increasing pressure to sort out crumbling road surfaces, particularly in towns and villages.

And concerns grew further last week when the News reported how Gatehouse pensioner Ken McConnell fell when his wheeled walking aid got stuck in a deep hole.

The 89-year-old required treatment by paramedics for a head injury in the back of an ambulance called to the scene.

Mr McConnell’s accident prompted Gatehouse Provost Helen Keating to demand urgent action from the roads department.

But in its response this week, the council could not give a specific date when Victoria Street and others in the area in similar condition would be properly repaired.

A spokesman told the News: ‘Road maintenance work on Victoria Street, Gatehouse of Fleet is part of the council’s capital program for the financial year 2022/23.

“Staff are working on contracting work packages to make progress in this area.

“Current market conditions, which impact the availability and prices of road surfacing materials, are affecting delivery times for works.

“The council is working with suppliers to move the works program forward as quickly and as economically as possible.”

Ms Keating, who is also communications secretary for the Gatehouse Community Council, has previously described Victoria Street as ‘absolutely disgraceful’ and ‘like a slalom’ for drivers.

She said: ‘I appreciate the difficulties of the council, but I just hope for everyone’s safety that they get down to it and do it.

“Everything has to be done right – and it shouldn’t just be about patching potholes.

“From experience, once the potholes are filled, with the next heavy rain fall, the tar comes right back.”

The 100-meter-long road, which connects High Street, is cratered up to six inches deep from one end to the other.