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The Shame Of Britain’s Roads

The Shame Of Britain’s Roads

The British government’s rail minister has been pilloried for refusing to commute from his Essex home on the railways because he prefers a chauffeur driven limo at your expense (est. cost £80k p.a.) instead. This is surprising because the roads in this country are in such a state that crossing the remote Himalayas on the back of an arthritic donkey seems like a more appealing prospect than driving from Chelmsford to London.

The roads in this country are, as you well know, in a poor state. The latest news is that, as the floods subside, more potholes than ever will be revealed as allegedly cash-strapped councils and the Highways Agency fail to keep up with the work of putting back that which nature removes. What’s worse is that some of the flooding has been so bad that whole sections of tarmac have been swept away meaning that road closures will be more common whilst the inevitable funding ‘issues’ are resolved.

Potholes are probably unavoidable (in both senses of the word) but better, more lasting repairs and improved road building techniques might help to alleviate the problem but that simply isn’t going to happen. The number of car-damaging craters is expected to rise to in excess of two million and the authorities can’t cope. It is a sorry state of affairs.

What has happened to our road infrastructure must be a bit of a joke around the world. Sparsely populated areas of Spain have far better road surfaces than us thanks to EU grants funded in part by British taxpayers, as any European traveller knows. Most of us are unlikely to ever be lucky enough to visit the more remote areas of mainland China but we now know that their roads are better than ours too.

We have been made aware of this by the Dongfeng Motor Corporation – China’s second biggest motor maker – who have been testing a prototype van over here because, they say, our roads are worse than theirs! Closer to home the Ford Motor Company have apparently surveyed a battered stretch of road near Basildon to enable them to build an artificial track in Belgium to better test the suspension on their cars. It would be funny if it were not true.

The Local Government Association have been quoted as saying that even when all the post-weather assessments have been made, repairs will still be delayed because we can’t afford it. Where is all the money that we pay out in road tax and sundry other motoring levies? Perhaps some of it is siphoned off to help fund our expensive rail network that ministers aren’t using? Whatever, it isn’t being spent where it should be, and that is maintaining a road network that right now would be derided in any so-called third world country.

The answer is of course to rent an under-used donkey from a sanctuary. It won’t be as fast of course but it may manage your commute to work without breaking its suspension.

This post was written by:

- who has written 474 posts on Motor Blogger.

Geoff is a freelance writer and photographer.

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2 Responses to “The Shame Of Britain’s Roads”

  1. Max Tyler says:

    Maybe it’s all a conspiracy to help the GDP – figures released today say that repairs to vehicles damaged by potholes will top £1 billion – think of the vAT on that! And the NI, and the PAYE………..

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