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Is this the worst potholed street in Caithness?


By David G Scott

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A badly potholed street in Wick was highlighted to Highland Council last week as one of the priority areas to treat.

Wick and East Caithness councillor Raymond Bremner said he had spoken to council officers about the poor state of the road surface at Union Street during a recent roads discussion.

Union Street is badly potholed. Picture: DGS
Union Street is badly potholed. Picture: DGS

"They are committed to repairing them as part of the roads repair programme that they have put in place," said Councillor Bremner.

"I had reason to visit Union Street last week and saw the weaving of traffic between the damaged areas. There are a number of areas like this and it will take the council a while to attend them all."

British Telecom runs a telephone exchange from 20 Union Street and on the day the pictures here were taken several vehicles were observed negotiating the route and trying to avoid the potholes.

A British Telecom vehicle negotiates the potholes at Union Street as it heads back to its depot. Pictures: DGS
A British Telecom vehicle negotiates the potholes at Union Street as it heads back to its depot. Pictures: DGS

Some of the potholes have joined up to create long stretches of damaged surface that measure close to 20ft in length and are especially bad where large vehicles turn into the yard of a local business.

A Highland Council spokesperson said: “We have a process in place regarding potholes and defects on Highland Council maintained roads and all incidents that are reported are followed up. The Highland Council, Roads Service has continued to deliver frontline services throughout the Covid-19 restrictions.

The street is a main route for BT workers accessing the telephone exchange on the right. Picture: DGS
The street is a main route for BT workers accessing the telephone exchange on the right. Picture: DGS

"Our focus has been urgent road defects and Winter Maintenance and remains so. Where resources and restrictions have permitted we have undertaken routine maintenance works. In the meantime, we refer people to our factsheet on potholes that is on our website at www.highland.gov.uk/downloads/file/20457/pothole_factsheet and we encourage anyone to report any defects using the online reporting form at www.highland.gov.uk/report or they can phone 01349 886601

Large sections of the road surface have deteriorated badly over the winter with potholes joining together to create a very uneven surface. Picture: DGS
Large sections of the road surface have deteriorated badly over the winter with potholes joining together to create a very uneven surface. Picture: DGS

Highland Council has responsibility for the longest non-trunk road network in the UK – about 4189 miles (6740km). The recent severe weather between January and March this year has "caused considerable damage" to Highland roads, admitted the council spokesperson.

"Details of the prioritised list of schemes for the Caithness roads capital programme for 2021/22 which will be considered by councillors at the next meeting of the Caithness Committee on the 22nd April. The agenda will be published on the council’s website at this link in due course www.highland.gov.uk/meetings/committee/125/caithness_committee

Council worker seen recently fixing a pothole at West Banks Avenue in Wick with a cold patch. Picture: DGS
Council worker seen recently fixing a pothole at West Banks Avenue in Wick with a cold patch. Picture: DGS

"Pothole repairs are always ongoing across Caithness and as much permanent repairs are made as is possible. There are, however always occurrences when temporary ‘cold tar’ fixes have to be made."

Councillor Bremner said he is hoping to hear from Highland Council officers today "when it is likely that Union Street will be attended to".

Are Caithness roads now safe after council patch job?


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