MILLIONS of pounds are to be splashed out to repair Renfrewshire’s rocky roads after angry motorists complained that potholes are driving them round the bend.
The big freeze has left many streets in the Paisley area looking like a lunar surface and drivers say they are struggling to negotiate a minefield of craters.
Busy thoroughfares such as Causeyside Street, Craw Road and Broomlands Street are among those which have been cracking up, leaving drivers facing an obstacle course of holes and broken tarmac.
Now Renfrewshire Council has approved plans for an extra £2.8million to be spent on major road and footpath upgrades over the next year.
But some frustrated motorists insist the repair work is too little, too late.
Scott Crawford, 26, from Dykebar, Paisley, claims the town’s streets are the worst he has ever encountered.
He said: “It’s a nightmare driving round Paisley these days. You never know where the next hole in the road is going to come from. I’ve already had to fork out for a new coil spring on my suspension because of a pothole.
“Paisley has always had its fair share of dodgy roads but, these past few weeks, things seem to have got a lot worse.”
Johnstone woman Anne Stewart, 54, added: “I hate driving round Renfrewshire these days because the roads are so bad.
“It really makes me angry and I wonder why I bother paying road tax.”
Community activist Jimmy Kerr is fed up with the state of the roads around his home in the West End of Paisley.
He said: “These roads and pavements are a danger to the community and to leave the holes unfixed is plain potty.
“I have witnessed young mothers and old people struggling to negotiate their way around the pavements.”
Retired joiner Ronald Brown, 67, from Lochwinnoch, added: “The roads around here are a nightmare. The problem is that the council is not fixing the roads properly and this creates bigger potholes in the long run.
“The situation has been made worse by the cold weather, which has exposed cracks and fissures, eroded the surface and led to sunken spots, especially around drains.”
Local mechanics have revealed they are doing a roaring trade in repairs as many Buddies report damage to their car’s suspension as a result of the ropey roads.
Brian Maneely, manager of Paisley Autocare, said: “Business has definitely been picking up over the last few weeks as a result of people hitting potholes.
“We’ve had a couple of cars in over the past few days with suspension problems because they had managed to bend a few components by driving through a big crater.
“We’re also getting people in looking not only for new tyres but new wheels as well. A lot of cars have alloy wheels and, if you dent them, it costs a fortune to get replacements.
“The roads around Paisley really are atrocious and something needs to be done about it soon.”
Council chiefs claim the extreme winter weather is largely to blame for the state of Renfrewshire’s roads and they have vowed to tackle the problem quickly.
A spokesperson said: “Potholes are mainly caused by the weather. Following the longest spell of the most extreme temperatures in around 30 years, councils across Scotland are now facing large numbers of repairs to roads and pavements.
“The bad weather has also delayed the scheduled programme of roads maintenance and improvement work because tarmac and concrete can’t be laid in very low temperatures.
“We understand that this can be frustrating for drivers but we are doing everything we can to deal with these issues.
“The council has also just approved a £2.8million investment programme to support major road and footpath upgrades and safety improvement projects.”