Angus is on a long road to nowhere in the battle to keep the area’s routes free of potholes and fit for purpose.
New data has shown that while good practice suggests roads should be surfaced every 40 years, local drivers face a rather longer wait.
Of 194 years.
The staggering statistic is the current Angus average and follows a 2019/20 financial year which saw a paltry 5.7 miles resurfaced locally.
Surveys reveal more than a third of districts routes are needing repairs, or investigation to stop them deteriorating further.
In the Scottish Roads Maintenance Condition Survey, Angus slipped from eighth in 2017/18 to 13th equal out of the country’s 32 councils in 2019/20.
A Covid-delayed update to the league table has put the county back up to 10th in the list last year.
Studies previously suggested Angus should be spending around £7 million annually to keep roads up to scratch, but already has a £50m-plus repair backlog.
The road and potholes situation in Angus has been branded “just unacceptable”. This led to a fresh call to address one of the perennial priority issues for local residents.
Communities committee councillors heard an average Angus road spend of £6,867 per kilometre in 2019/20 lagged way behind the Scottish average of £11,262.
Council infrastructure chief Ian Cochrane revealed surface dressing had also dropped last year, to just 26.5 miles from more than 29 the previous year.
He said: “Surface dressing can be a cost-effective way of restoring the road surface and sealing it in one process.
“Good practice suggests roads should be surface dressed every 10 years, which equates to 180km (111 miles) a year in Angus.
“A target of 2.5% has been set, which was achieved in 2018/19 but not in 2019/20.”
He added: “It is very challenging in terms of budget.”
Carnoustie Independent councillor David Cheape said the issue was one of the most pressing for residents.
“We are traditionally one of the lowest spenders,” he said.
“The public have their priorities and it is always high up people’s opinions.
“I think we need to reflect that in how we carry out our work as a council.
“Resurfacing a road once in 194 years is just unacceptable.
“We need to get our budgets more in line with public perception and public need.
“It’s become more and more noticeable over the last few years – our roads have deteriorated significantly,” he said.
Montrose Independent Tommy Stewart added: “It’s probably something we’re never going to get on top of
“Finances just don’t allow.
“We’re going to have to manage it as best we can.”
Communities convener Mark Salmond said: “We have moved up in the Scottish rankings by three places.
“We only have so much money to spend.
“We have important areas to look after in children and learning, social care and mental health.
“There are all different areas that need to funding. When we decide to increase it in one area we have to cut it in another – that is fact.”