A political row has broken out after the Scottish Tories claimed the condition of roads in Perth and Kinross significantly deteriorated under the previous SNP council administration.
Murdo Fraser, Scottish Conservative MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, was reacting to data provided by the AA, which showed Perth and Kinross saw the number of its A roads needing repairs rise to 40% in the period 2015-17 from 36% during 2009-11.
It was the worst performance in Tayside and Fife. Figures show both Fife and Dundee saw decreases in the number of A roads in need of repair while Angus experienced a smaller rise.
Pete Wishart MP of the SNP had slammed the Tory authority but Mr Fraser claimed the previous administration in Perth and Kinross Council “have a lot to answer for”.
He said “Local SNP politicians have some brass neck to blame the new Conservative administration in Perth and Kinross for the state of our roads.
“Under their (SNP) watch, road maintenance was neglected and potholes turned into pits. Most residents won’t buy the SNP’s blame game and most will likely be asking why roads in Fife and Dundee improved whilst theirs suffered during these periods.
“Ultimately, the state of our roads will not improve overnight but this administration in Perth and Kinross has made it a priority, which is a lot more than can be said of the last SNP one.”
Councillor Dave Doogan, leader of the SNP group in Perth and Kinross, refuted Mr Fraser’s remarks, stating his party invested an “additional” £6 million on the area’s road network during the last three years of their administration.
He said: “The Tories have made a lot of noise over roads since taking over Perth and Kinross Council but its action and resources that are required not anti-SNP rhetoric stuck on repeat.
“In the recent council budget in February, the Tories allocated precisely zero extra for roads maintenance compared with the £5million over three years from the SNP’s budget proposal.
“If the Tories have made a priority of our roads then they haven’t put any money into it so where is the improvement coming from? There isn’t any and the public knows it. Blaming the SNP nearly a year after the election is fooling nobody.”
The statistics released by the AA also showed Perth and Kinross had the worst local record for repairs needed on B roads – 40% during 2015-17, up from 35% in 2009-11.
Corresponding figures from Fife showed 33% of B roads needing repairs – down from 37% — with 33% in Angus and 18% in Dundee.
The data revealed that around 30% of Scotland’s A road surfaces were classed as red or amber from 2015 to 2017, meaning they were either earmarked for inspection or definitely required work.