The current repair bill to address the UK’s ever degrading, pothole ravaged roads reportedly sits at £14bn, which is simply mind boggling. The question, of course, is when will the national repair programme commence and the truthful answer is there is no plan to address it, it’s as simple as that.
Having established this terrifying fact, let’s consider some of the implications of its impact. A starting cost prediction of £14bn will increase at an exponential rate which will be impossible to control and more worryingly, quickly become totally cost prohibitive. Will there ever be a government that will be in a position to fund pothole repairs at £14bn plus? I very much doubt it, but where does that leave us, accepting the fact that we will never be able to resolve an ever increasing nightmare or the realisation that we will have to continue the ridiculous practice of piecemeal repairs for ever!
As usual in the UK, it’s a post code lottery as to how potholes are dealt with, with scenarios that make a mockery of the dangers they pose to the public. My own county has a prioritised list on which their response time is based, running from 1 – 6, or 24 hours (P1) to 60 days (P6). The council do recommend that road users should photograph the offending cavity and submit it for “assessment and prioritisation”, but let’s get real. Who is going to stop to photograph a pothole that may then be classified as P6, knowing that it probably won’t be looked at for 2 months, even though it could easily deteriorate to P1 or 2 within a matter of days. Follow up will differ between councils as indicated, but given the seriousness of this situation for the nation, is that an acceptable derogation of duty by central government? I think not.
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