21st November 2018
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Council receives extra money to help repair pot-holes following cold spell

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The council’s roads department has received a cash boost of nearly £250,000 to help towards costs of road maintenance and repairs needed after the recent wintry spell.

The money has come from the Scottish government and head of roads Ian Halcrow described it as “very welcome”.

The extra cash, totalling £243,000, will be especially useful as the roads department spent more than usual during the recent bad weather.

Mr Halcrow said: “We had to do a bit more snow-clearing in December than normal. We couldn’t get salt from our usual supplier so we got it from the Scottish government salt group, but at extra cost. This [£243,00] will help.”

He explained that the three UK suppliers of salt had not been able to keep up with demand and salt had to be sourced from as far away as Chile and Spain, with greater transport costs.

However the problem now and in the next few months will be pot-holes. Mr Halcrow said these were caused by water getting into fissures in the road, freezing and expanding as it thaws and breaking up the surface.

This does not happen readily on good quality main roads, he said, but the repeated thawing and freezing is a problem on minor roads, where the action of traffic breaks out the edges of pot-holes, accelerating damage. The problem is likely to get worse over the next few months.

Pot-holes can be a hazard for cyclists and damage motor cycles. The council also receives complaints from motorists that pot-holes damage car tyres and suspension.

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About Rosalind Griffiths

I am a Shetland Times reporter covering news, including health stories, and features. I have been in Shetland for more than 30 years.

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