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Pothole Crisis Continues

Pothole Crisis Continues

Recent news has reported the planned second stage of the high-speed rail link to and from the North of England and the South. The cost is estimated to be in the order of £36 billion.

You just know, don’t you, that this figure will prove to be wildly optimistic – because they always are to make the deal more appealing – when the true amount will no doubt be very considerably more.

Still, it is not for us to debate the rights and wrongs of this here except to point out that Britain’s motorists will be justified in feeling a tad aggrieved when they are driving on roads not fit for purpose. The misery of roads that we, the tax paying car owners, have paid for over and over again goes on.

The blame is being placed in part on the way potholes are repaired. There has probably never been as good a use of the word ‘short-termism’ than when it is applied to pothole repairs. For years now those responsible have relied on cheap, brittle and porous Stone Mastic Asphalt rather than doing the job properly with hardwearing Hot Rolled Asphalt.

So, although the former is the cheaper option, the fact that the repair has be done over and over again means that the long-term cost probably isn’t much different. This penny-pinching gross underinvestment has left the UK with a backlog of pothole repairs and it is hard to see how this can be rectified without a major roads programme, which of course brings us full circle because it will probably never happen.

Government cuts will continue to leave councils short of the readies as they try to allegedly balance the books. In the meantime the potholes get deeper and more serious as time goes on. It is not as if this applies only to quieter B roads; the problem is becoming increasingly widespread on major routes and every time the work gangs turn up, traffic is slowed or even gridlocked whilst the repairs are carried out.

Our recent weather patterns haven’t helped with snow and heavy rain getting into the cracks and crevices of sloppily repaired road surfaces; freezing, thawing and lifting the surface. The only solution is to do the job properly once and for all which is what all of Britain’s drivers want as it will save them having to put in claims for damage to councils who could be spending the money on road repairs – and so it goes on. £36 billion ought to do it.

Never mind, if it becomes impossible to use the roads we’ve always got the railways to fall back on, especially as we’ll have the new high-speed line in a couple of decades time. You can use these trains instead – assuming you can afford the tickets.

This post was written by:

- who has written 474 posts on Motor Blogger.

Geoff is a freelance writer and photographer.

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