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£44 million surplus could improve north roads, says Thurso community council

By Gordon Calder

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A CALL has been made for “a substantial amount” of Highland Council’s £44 million surplus to be spent on improving roads in Caithness and elsewhere in the north.

It came from the chairman of Thurso Community Council, Ron Gunn, who is concerned about the the number of potholes and the poor standard of the roads in the county.

Ron Gunn wants some of the £44million surplus spent on improving roads. Picture: Mel Brooks
Ron Gunn wants some of the £44million surplus spent on improving roads. Picture: Mel Brooks

The community councillors have backed the Caithness Roads Recovery campaign which was formed to bring pressure at regional and national level for major investment to bring the network up to standard.

Mr Gunn raised the issue at the this week’s virtual meeting of the community council and was supported by his colleagues.

He said: “I would like to see a substantial amount of the £44 million being spent to improve the roads in Caithness and in other parts of the Highlands.

“I don’t think there is any doubt there will be an influx of visitors this year once the lockdown restrictions are lifted and we need to get our roads repaired for the benefit of locals and tourists alike.”

Thelma Mackenzie said a number of people have booked holidays in the Highlands for later in the year but Joanathan Todd claimed people in the south have been put off coming here because of the condition of the roads.

Mr Gunn said such concerns highlight the need for action to be taken to improve the area's roads. He would like to see some of the surplus money being used to improve the roads, although he felt other worthwhile projects should also benefit from the windfall.

Mr Gunn said it was “unfortunate” no local Highland councillors were at Tuesday night’s meeting to talk about the surplus, how it arose and how it is to be spent.

The £44 million surplus is the result of savings made by the council and additional money provided by the Scottish Government.

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