FUNDING for road repairs needs to be increased by millions of pounds to slow the decline in East Lothian’s carriageways, officials have said.

A report on the state of the surfaces of the county’s road network has revealed that the current annual investment of just under £4million is leading to “sustained deterioration”.

And it urges councillors to increase the yearly investment, although even then it says over a third of roads will be in disrepair.

Nearly half of East Lothian’s 916 kilometres of roads are unclassified and the network’s asset value depreciates by over £10million each year.

The council currently invests £3.9million in preventative treatments but officers are calling for that figure to be raised to £4.5million.

Its report, which was presented to East Lothian Council’s Policy and Performance Review Committee today (Wednesday), said: “Although through prudent management of resources and an adoption of a preventative maintenance strategy, a slower deterioration is achieved, we recommend additional investment.”

The report recommends that councillors introduce an increased annual investment which it said would maintain the existing roads position with 37.5 per cent requiring attention.

It also calls for councillors to invest just over £1million each year in footpaths to remove all major deterioration and take the amount of surface with minor damage to just five per cent.

However, it points out that the state of the county’s footpaths is based on data collected over five years ago which needs to be updated.

It adds: “A more regular assessment of the footway network condition is required to understand and monitor deterioration over the longer term.”

Officers also recommend that councillors invest £15million over the next 10 years to replace steel street light columns with aluminium ones which have a working life of 50 years.

It said that a third of street light columns in East Lothian were past their expected service life and the number of lights was increasing as a result of new housing developments.

The report revealed that the council was in the process of adopting 2,000 street lights into its assets, with more expected to be added each year.

The recommendations of officers will be presented to councillors as they prepare the budget for the next financial year.