Spend parking fine income on fixing potholes, councils told

Yellow lines and a crumbling road surface is seen near the city Centre of Gloucester, as most of the roads South West UK are left in need of repair and resurfacing work after a year of heavy rainfall and recent flooding, creating potholes and debris. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday January, 6, 2013. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

A cut in spending on Scottish roads is being blamed for an increase in potholes and roads in dangerous condition, claims the AA.

Spending in the country has been cut by almost £150 million over the last seven years, falling from £691m in 2010-11 to £554m in 2016-17. Accounting for inflation, that's an even greater drop of nearly £260m.

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The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla) claims that despite the hefty cuts, road conditions had actually improved slightly over the time period, but admitted there were wide variations depending on area.

However, opposition politicians and motoring groups have hit back at the claims, saying that it did not appear that way for the majority of motorists, and arguing that the state of roads had 'clearly worsened'.

Alexander Stewart, of the Scottish Conservatives, said: "People right across the country are getting completely fed up with the state of the roads.

"From motorways to small residential streets, there are just too many potholes and too many problems. We can now see the reason for this is the SNP's decision to slash funding."

A spokesperson for the AA agreed that potholed roads were becoming dangerous. It called on local councils to use money generated from parking fines to repair poorly-surfaced roads.

"Frankly, the amount of money councils make from trapping motorists means that roads could be restored to such a good condition that you could probably eat your dinner off them.

"Over the summer in Edinburgh alone, the income from parking tickets was £2.3 million. They've got loads of money coming in through fines, they just choose not to spend it on filling in potholes. They damage cars but, worse than that, they are murderous for cyclists. We've already had three people across the UK killed because local authorities failed to maintain residential roads properly."

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