Roadworks freeze will create ‘future problems’ association hears

A “bow wave” of future problems is being created by the SIC’s failure to tackle road maintenance, it was claimed at the Association of Community Councils yesterday.

 Community councils will be approached by the roads department to create a wish list of road improvements that will feed into a prioritised Shetland-wide schedule of road schemes. But nothing, they also heard, will happen any time soon as there is no money.

Scalloway community councillor David Sandison said that many of the schemes had been in the pipeline for years and it needed to be made clear that the list was “only aspirational”.

 He said: “whatever comes out of it, there’s no money for road schemes. Nothing is going to go ahead in the short term. This will take years to come by, if at all. Let’s not build up false hopes.”

 Whalsay community council chairman David Hughson said that such an approach would built up “a bow wave of problems for the future”.

The question was also asked why repairing potholes was “not done at all” when once it had been a routine procedure.

However Dunrossness community councillor Allison Duncan said that the standard of roads in Shetland was far better than down south. The roads in Hampshire, where he had visited his brother, were “atrocious”.

He added: “Our roads are luxury compared to what they have in the south of England.”

Mr Sandison said that Shetland roads, if not quiet top class, were still of a very high standard.

 Yell community council chairman Dan Thompson said that concerns he had raised with the SIC legal department over the Brig o’ Fitch improvements had been treated flippantly and he had been told to stop wasting their time. Fellow Yell councillor Lawrence Odie said that the council had jumped the gun at the Brig o’ Fitch by starting work before a final safety report came out.

About Peter Johnson

Reporter for The Shetland Times. I have also worked as an employed and freelance reporter and editor for a variety of print and broadcast media outlets and as as a freelance photographer and film maker/cameraman. In addition to journalism, I have experience in construction, oil analysis, aquaculture, fisheries, the health service and oral history.

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