Holes in the road – a nationwide epidemic
We all know how annoying it is coming across potholes in the road. All too often they can be unavoidable and end up causing considerable damage to all sorts of vehicles. Now a recent report into the state of Britain’s roads has found that potholes currently affect around one in six roads across the country, requiring billions to fix.
The report from the Asphalt Industry Alliance has identified that many roads are suffering from poor conditions following the effects of wetter winters and increased levels of traffic. While the ageing roads are frequently repaired by local councils, the AIA warns that they may need replacing completely in the next five years.
For roads to be brought up to a suitable standard, the AIA suggests that local authorities would need more than £12 billion in funding and ten years to carry out such changes. However, government funding for road improvements has previously faced criticism, with councils in England saying that maintaining the roads requires £730 million more than what they currently receive.
The Department for Transport has recently announced it will supply additional funds over the next few years for road maintenance, with an extra pot of £50 million a year solely dedicated to fixing potholes. The chairman of the AIA, Alan Mackenzie commented on the move by calling for further investments.
He also stated: “Our local roads are failing and it’s time we had a rethink about how to adequately fund them in the future. Clearing the maintenance backlog remains impossible without a significant increase in funding.”
In a separate move, the Department for Transport has also revealed plans to fit council bin lorries with high-definition cameras, giving local authorities the ability to spot potential issues on road surfaces. That way, it’s hoped that a more pro-active approach can be taken when it comes to eliminating those damaging potholes.