A week or so ago we had a meeting regarding the recent flash flood and the state of the A834 through the village. I asked the actings Road Office about the upcoming resurfacing of the road through the village which is literally full of potholes and blocked drains. “What resurfacing?” came the reply. As far he was concerned there are only two locations in the village where resurfacing work is planned, one at the bottom of Ardival and the other up by the village square. One of the reasons why resurfacing is such a problem these days is because it costs money to dump the old surface they take off and as we know Highland Council have none to spend even though last year they received money from the government to fix potholes.
After returning from a trip into Dingwall I was astounded to see that the A835 between the turn off to Tollies and the Moy roundabout was being resurfaced. I am no expert but as far I can see the road there looked in reasonable if not very good order, but that wasn’t stopping them scraping 15 centimetres off the surface in preparation to fully resurface it later this week. Traffic Scotland who look after the trunk roads obviously have deep pockets and don’t have any problem with getting in rid of the old surface.
Even though the A834 is still classed as an ‘A’ road it’s now no longer deemed a ‘trunk’ road, and as such maintenance of it falls to the local council to carry out. There seems to be a gaping disparity and gross unfairness about how we go about road maintenance in Scotland. Why is it that the folk who live here year round have to put with a road full of potholes and in a generally poor state of repair, when a nearby road that looks in far superior condition is fully resurfaced?
I am sure that the A834 through the village will be continued to be patched, patch on patch for the foreseeable future. The frost and ice of the last winter took a lot out of it and I wonder what it will look like after the next one? The extra housing at the top of the village will increase the volume of traffic on it, and there are remarkably no weight restriction on the A834 to take larger vehicles such as articulated logging lorries off what is after all a fragile road little more than 6M wide in places. It would be amusing if it wasn’t so serious, but heavy lorries such as these are coming though the village instead of using the A835 which is now getting resurfaced!
I thought this news item underlines perfectly the unfairness in how road maintenance is prioritised across the Highlands.