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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)