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Daily Record
Daily Record
Fraser Clarke

Seventy percent of residents in West Dunbartonshire unhappy with state of roads

Just 29 percent of residents in West Dunbartonshire are satisfied with the maintenance of roads in the area.

A new report presented to members of WDC’s infrastructure, regeneration and economic development committee (IRED) last week also showed that just 37 percent of road defects reported to the council were fixed within 28 days – well shy of the local authority’s 85 percent target.

The SNP’s Jonathan McColl slammed the figures, and asked if plans to buy a state-of-the-art pothole-busting JCB machine had moved forward.

WDC agreed to the purchase of a JCB Pothole Pro last year, but earlier this year it was discovered that nobody from the local authority had contacted JCB.

The Pothole Pro can repair an average pothole in just eight minutes according to the manufacturer, with three tools included to make sure that any repairs are lasting.

Lomond member Councillor McColl said: “Back in early 2022 both Labour and the SNP were keen to target the issues we have in the area with potholes.

“A decision was made to purchase a JCB Pothole Pro machine to fix the problem but subsequently, for whatever reason, it wasn’t purchased, despite the instruction from councillors.

“We’re sitting here with the number of road defects reported and fixed within 28 days significantly missing the target we have set of 85 percent. We achieved just 37.7 percent.

“Our satisfaction with the service is in the gutter at just 29 percent.”

In response WDC’s chief officer for roads, Gail McFarlane, said: “A two-week pilot was carried out with the JCB Pothole Pro.

“The first week saw it carry out larger surface defects or patching works. A permanent repair for a larger area.

“The second week we did smaller pothole repairs across the area.

“It was more successful with surface defects, or bigger defects. With potholes in residential areas it was more challenging. It’s a significant size of vehicle and it took up a lot of space.

“That limited some of the areas where we could use it.

“I will prepare a report on that with a recommendation.”

Four Scottish councils have already armed themselves with the Pothole Pro – Fife, Scottish Borders, North Lanarkshire and Highlands – covering more than 10,000 miles of highway.

Scottish Borders Council say they have permanently repaired more than 700 potholes on the council’s ‘A’ road network in the first few months of operation.

JCB say that the Pothole Pro allows a local authority to cut the defect, crop the edges and clean the hole with one machine – mechanising jobs traditionally done by pothole gangs and delivering up to a 50 percent cut in daily costs.

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