Friday, January 07, 2011

Another landmark

Interestingly, I did the story on the deteriorating condition of our roads on 30 December. I claim no great prescience as I was picking up on a piece in The Scotsman at the time, although what triggered the post was seeing the damage locally with my own eyes. Now, well over a week later, we get the story on the front page of The Daily Telegraph, not as well done, in my view – but there you go.

The story, though, is a classic "us and them" issue. Governments and councils between them, pour money down the drains, while neglecting routine maintenance of vital infrastructure. This, you can get away with for a few years, but then the backlog catches up with you.

So it is here. The pre-freeze backlog had reached £9.5 billion, and with the road maintenance budget having been cut, we are now getting to the point of no return. Roads have deteriorated so badly that they need replacement rather than repair – which we cannot afford. And so we reach another landmark on our journey to becoming a third world country.