Pothole plea for rural roads

RURAL road repairs should not be cut back by cash-strapped North East councils, a pressure group has said.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) says that minor roads provide a vital link for rural businesses and need to be well maintained.

But the group is worried that councils may cut back on repairs due to falling budgets at a time when roads have been severely damaged by frost.

CLA North Regional Director Dorothy Fairburn said: “Freezing conditions always herald the start of the pothole season and while local councils are usually quick to repair damage to major roads they are often more tardy in their approach to minor routes.

“As the ongoing austerity measures continue to bite, we are seriously concerned that cash-starved councils will be tempted to neglect further rural roads, which are a key part of the infrastructure that underpins the rural economy.

“In the current economic climate, rural businesses cannot afford to be further disadvantaged by having to pay hefty repair bills for vehicles damaged by potholes that should have been dealt with by the local council.”