Deputy minister for enterprise, transport and lifelong learning, Lewis Macdonald announced the extra£20m for local authorities to use to tackle urgent road and bridge repairs including pot-holes and broken street lighting which are common causes of frustration among the travelling public.
Mr Macdonald said:
'I know that people across Scotland want to see action to tackle pot holes, remove and replace worn out streetlights and deal with other problems on the network of local roads and bridges. Local authorities are already pressing ahead with repair and replacement work and I am today providing an extra£20m to speed that process up.
'All of Scotland's local authorities will benefit from this cash injection and they will be able to use the funds to tackle local roads maintenance priorities over the next seven months.
'Today's extra money will make a real difference to the safety of pedestrians and motorists through better lighting and better maintained roads.'
The minister's announcement today coincides with the publication of the health and safety working group report following the Selby road/rail accident.
One of the main responses to the report findings is the decision to recommend roads authorities and Railtrack jointly undertake a risk assessment of locations where roads meet, cross or run close to railways.
In Scotland this means 770 local road bridges over rail lines will need to be assessed to ensure they meet safety requirements. The estimated cost of the risk assessment programme to be undertaken jointly by local authorities and Railtrack is approximately£1m.
Local authorities will therefore be able to use some of today's award to meet the cost of the programme of risk assessment. The average cost of an individual assessment will be approximately£1,000.
Commenting on this move the minister said:
'Today's award will also enable authorities to work with Railtrack to carry out the safety assessment work that is recommended in the reports into the Selby rail crash published today.
'Britain's roads are among the safest in the world and we cannot afford to become complacent. It is important that safety standards are uniform throughout the UK in order to ensure high levels of safety protection to the travelling public.'
The distribution of the£20m between local authorities was calculated using the standard distribution for roads maintenance funding within local authorities' block revenue allocation. The allocation to individual authorities is as follows:
Argyll & Bute
Dumfries & Galloway
Edinburgh, City of
Perth & Kinross