AN extra £10 million has been set aside to help deal with crumbling roads in the aftermath of Scotland’s extreme winter weather.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said the funding would help cover the cost of maintenance and additional repairs in the wake of weeks of treacherous conditions.

But critics said the cash was a “drop in the ocean” of what was needed, and accused the SNP of failing to deal with long-term infrastructure problems.

READ MORE: Scotland's roads cash slashed despite £1.2 billion backlog in repair work

It comes after it was revealed spending on Scotland’s roads has been slashed by nearly £140 million over the past seven years.

The Road Maintenance Strategic Action Group – chaired by Transport Minister Humza Yousaf – has also warned current levels of spending will be "insufficient" to tackle a £1.2 billion maintenance backlog.

Mr Mackay said details of the distribution of cash among Scotland's 32 local authorities will be agreed with council body Cosla.

He said: "Scotland experienced unprecedented levels of extreme weather in recent months, culminating in the issuing of our first-ever red alert for snow by the Met Office in late February.

"The severe weather led to local authorities incurring unexpected additional costs to their maintenance budgets, and simultaneously caused more damage to Scotland's road network.

"By assisting councils to keep our road networks safe and efficient, we're not only improving conditions for road users, we're also extending the life span of that network - benefiting the wider economy.

"We have agreed a local government finance settlement of £10.7 billion, which will provide a real terms boost in both revenue and capital spending to support local services, including winter maintenance."

READ MORE: Councils have already spent entire winter roads budget

But Peter Rodger, head of driving advice at road safety charity IAM Roadsmart, insisted long-term investment was needed to fully protect roads.

He said: “£10 million is very welcome, but we have got a big problem over a number of years now, where we have had a series of bad winters – this one has been particularly harsh – and that’s been combined with government cutbacks.

“Our roads have developed a backlog of issues. Every little helps, but I suspect what we really need is a big investment and probably a change in attitude around better repairs and longer-term maintenance, to prevent the weather having such a strong effect.”

Scottish Conservative transport spokesman Jamie Greene said the SNP were reacting with “sticking plasters” instead of properly dealing with substantive long-term issues.

He added: “Not only does this fail to address the chronic long term lack of investment on local roads after years of reductions to local council budgets, it isn’t even a drop in the ocean of what is needed to make Scotland’s roads fit for purpose.”

READ MORE: Scotland's roads cash slashed despite £1.2 billion backlog in repair work

Andy Willox, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Scottish policy convener, said: "FSB has repeatedly warned that bad local roads make it difficult to do business in many parts of Scotland.

"While a longer-term solution regarding road repairs and maintenance is required, today's funding announcement is hugely welcome.

"Many in business will hope it signals a change in attitude from government regarding the importance of local infrastructure."