MP calls for action to tackle potholes

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MP Jo Swinson has called on new First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to take action to fix East Dunbartonshire’s ‘crumbling roads’.

According to the MP, the UK Government committed £24.4million to Scotland in March to repair dangerous potholes.

But Ms Swinson says that Nicola Sturgeon’s predecessor, Alex Salmond, ignored calls to explain where and when the money would be spent.

She said: “The state of our roads is a cause of great frustration to many local people. Alex Salmond told me the Scottish Government is prioritising spending on childcare this year.

“But the roads money is totally different and was specifically allocated.

“Even on childcare the Scottish Government is not going as far as the UK Government, which is providing free nursery education to 40 per cent of two-year-olds right now, compared with just 27 per cent in Scotland from next year - and this only happened because of Liberal Democrat pressure.

“I have challenged the new First Minister to take immediate action on roads.

“East Dunbartonshire receives one of the lowest levels of funding for roads in Scotland because of a lack of trunk roads.

“Our council overspent on road repairs by £1million last year and urgently needs help to sort out the problem of potholes with winter around the corner.”

A spokesperson for the Local Government Minister, Marco Biagi, said: “These claims from MP Jo Swinson are the height of hypocrisy, given that she is part of a Tory-led government which has been imposing many savage budget cuts on Scotland.

“Despite that austerity agenda, the Scottish Government has maintained councils’ share of funding, with a total annual budget of almost £11 billion and an increase of £170 million over this year – money that councils can use to tackle local priorities, including on the roads they are responsible for.

“In terms of Scotland’s trunk road network, since 2007 we have invested more than £6 billion to improve it.”

The Scottish Government received no additional funding in last week’s autumn statement as a result of the UK Government’s roads announcements.