A Fife councillor has claimed that double standards exist when it comes to roads maintenance across the region.
Councillor Donald Lothian, who represents the Howe of Fife and Tay Coast ward, said he felt that parts of North East Fife were coming off as the poor relation, noting that certain roads in more central areas seem to be given preferential treatment.
The issue has been flagged up as Fife faces up to a staggering £95.6 million maintenance backlog which is set to rise over the coming years due to cutbacks.
A report to elected members in August warned that the spend on planned maintenance is due to fall from £10.7 million this year to £5.8m in 2017/18 and as low as £3.9m the following year, and Mr Lothian is keen to see money spent where it is needed most.
“Several residents in my ward have mirrored my observation that certain roads in Glenrothes appear to be maintained to a gold standard when North East Fife gets a bronze,” he explained.
“In particular the B969 Western Avenue in Glenrothes has had all of the roundabouts resurfaced when they did not appear to be in as bad a condition as several A class roads in North East Fife and in particular the A912 between Gateside and the Perth and Kinross boundary.
“I have again raised this apparent iniquity and this time with David Ross the Leader of the Administration during a recent meeting of Fife Council and I am pleased that this matter is to be reviewed to make sure that there is an equal Fife-wide road repair framework, even if it is silver.
“It is generally accepted that money is tight but what I am seeking is a fair spend across Fife of what money that is available.”
In response, Councillor John Wincott, Fife Council’s environment and transportation spokesperson, denied the assertion that certain places were getting special treatment.
He said: “All areas of Fife have the same maintenance standards based on volume of traffic, severity of defects, original road construction and classification of road.
“There is no such thing as gold versus bronze standards, all of our roads are treated equally.”
Mr Wincott went on to suggest that comparing the A912 with the B969 was “not straightforward”.
“The A912 is a rural through route, whereas the B969 is an urban route,” he noted.
“Urban routes carry a much higher volume of traffic than rural roads which means they need different treatments compared with rural ones.
“The A912 has featured prominently in current and ongoing consultations with North East Fife Area Committee members for the development of the 2017/18 Area Transportation Works Programme, and it will be a recommended scheme for the committee to consider at its meeting in January.”