Edinburgh’s road repair budget is facing cuts that come up to one million pounds so that the city can continue to invest money into cycling projects instead. As a result of the cuts, about 21,000 less potholes will be repaired over the course of 2014 with the money instead going towards additional bike storage facilities and many more miles of cycle trails. The city has set aside 7% of its spending for next year on cycling, but it has already received criticism from those who are upset about the poor shape of roads across Edinburgh.
The average pothole repair costs about £50, so the additional £1m that has been removed from pothole repair and placed towards cycling would have helped to repair about 21,000 potholes that are now going to plague motorists.
Cyclists in Edinburgh are delighted by the news, but councillors and motoring organisations are concerned that the green decision will have a devastating effect on the roads. Already the road repair spending budget of the city is almost half as much then it was during 2013 now that record spending this year is starting to wrap up and get completely finished.
Councillor Bill Henderson, a transport committee member that worked with British Telecom on road planning for the last three decades, stated that boosting cycling numbers should not mean turning away from making much needed road repairs.
He explained that he fails to see why road repair money should be put towards cycling especially because most cyclists would also like to see the potholes get fixed in the roads. While money does need to be placed towards developing cycling pathways as a green form of travel, most do not believe that the development of one area should lead to the decline of another.