03 September 2003
Trunk Roads Privateers fail again
After two years of the private sectors, poor performances, default
notices and other inefficiencies it is time that the Scottish Executive
brought Trunk Roads Maintenance back into local control, said public
service union UNISON today.
The union was responding to the second annual report of the privatised
trunk roads maintenance, carried out by the private consortium,
the Performance Assessment Group (PAG), published today by the Transport
Minister Nicol Stephen.
Joe Di Paola, UNISON's Scottish Organiser for Local Government,
said "We have now had more than two years of the private sector
maintaining our trunk roads, and they are still failing to meeting
the contracts they signed. In the last 2 years 88 default notices
have been issued, - continuing even this year when we have had a
very mild winter."
Munro Ross, Convenor of UNISON's Highlamd Region Branch said "Nicol
Stephen tends to play down the problems, but in some areas the maintenance
is so bad that local communities are having to take matters into
their own hands. For example. In Fort Augustus, the reduction of
the grass cutting on the A82, has meant such concern over the sightlines
on bends that the local villagers had to spend the money they had
earmarked to enter Scotland in Bloom to get the grass cut themselves!"
Joe Di Paola said "It is clear that we are continuing to see the
failure of the private sector to deliver. Even the private consortium
producing this report agrees they are failing to meet their contracts.
It is time that the Executive recognised this and returned the contracts
to the local councils who can deliver on them and provide decent
pensions, terms and conditions to the staff."
For Further Information Please Contact: Joe Di Paola (Scottish
Organiser - Local Gov't) 0845 355 0845(w) 07990 505698(m) Munro
Ross (Chairperson - Highland Branch) 07802 422 243(m) Chris Bartter
(Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)