Dear Mr Yousaf,
Three months into your role and we, at Eagle Couriers, would like to formally welcome you to your new post as a fully-fledged member of the cabinet.
We also pass our thanks on to Derek Mackay whose work on the Borders Railway, which has exceeded expectations and bettered the accessibility at both ends of the line, and handling of Network Rail’s bizarre decision to threaten to prevent the running of the Flying Scotsman, was excellent.
While we hope you can continue the good work of your predecessor on the Nation’s railways we are sure our voice will be joined by many others urging you to learn the lessons of his mistakes on the roads.
We made no secret of our disappointment with the Government’s handling of the severe weather situation early last year in our plea to Mr Mackay to address these issues before the country pays the price once more.
This time round we are asking for action tackling the undisputable dire state of the roads in the capital, Glasgow and beyond all year round.
Earlier this year, Edinburgh City Council announced the creation of a dedicated “Pothole Squad” tasked with improving the state of Edinburgh’s busiest roads.
While this is undoubtedly a start, more action is needed to prevent the sorry situation of some of the countries arterial roads getting even worse.
It shows that the council is on the back foot. I can’t help but look to France and Germany, with its greater extremes in temperature and wish we could boast such high quality road surfaces. Can you imagine for instance, the Tour de France taking place through one of our cities? We would be lucky to have any cyclists finish the stage on their saddles!
It is also so important to allowing people to commute quickly and safely and the cost to councils in reparations for damage caused by these divots and wells in the roads must surely outweigh any expenditure to simply stop the problem at source and improve the infrastructure for everyone?
As a courier we feel this pain perhaps more keenly than the average road-user but we are sure that we are not the only ones to notice.
It is imperative that the Government supports and even goes beyond Edinburgh Council’s decision to create this task-force.
The ‘Squad’ set up in Edinburgh is set to hit the busiest routes in the city but as we all know the lesser-used streets are taking a beating as well.
I ask you to make this a priority before we reach breaking point and the cost to businesses and councils grows even further.
Let’s make the country’s streets a pleasure to drive on, not a matter of embarrassment and scorn for all.
The obvious tax-payer costs, both monetary and in prolonging and making commutes less comfortable, are added to by the cost to businesses.
Exploding tyres may be rare but when they happen they delay businesses and commuters whether their car is damaged or they are held up behind one that is.
General wear and tear will cause the most disruption, as difficult as it is to pin-point, taking its toll on vehicles using our maligned streets.
Your commitment as a public servant is not in question and we ask you to back it up by continuing your hard work from your time as Minister for Europe and International Development.
With thanks and respect to Mr Mackay we hope you can bring his good work off the rails and onto the roads for the good of everyone.