Scottish Borders Council faces challenges over ageing 1,100 bridges

A report drawn out for the paper for the council’s scrutiny committee has been published highlighting the challenges facing Scottish Borders Council is maintaining more than 1,100 bridges, many of which are ‘ageing and in need of repair’.

The report outlined that regularly checking bridges and undertaking necessary works was ‘increasingly difficult in the current financial climate’.

The report says that the authority has a duty to maintain 963 single span and 143 multi-span bridges spread across a large geographical area.

More than 50 are ‘shared’ with Network Rail with several others shared with Northumberland County Council such as the Union Chain Bridge.

SBC allocates about £800,000 a year to bridge investment through its planning process, however, the report showed its actual expenditure has been much higher, spending around £3 million over the past two years.

It said that situation created spending pressures and showed that the annual core budget may not be sufficient.

Scottish Borders Council has been asked to note the size of the challenge and the measures being considered to improve data on the overall condition of bridges.