If you’re regularly finding yourself striking potholes, we’ve got some bad news for you. The situation is only going to get worse. Much worse…
The number of potholes on the nation’s roads is due to rise by 16%, the equivalent of a fifth, if investment remains at current levels. That’s according to new research conducted by Zurich UK and Cebr; an insurance provider and economic consultancy. The research suggests that only one in four potholes will be repaired if the government sticks to pledges made at the last General Election. Storms Ciara and Dennis have ravaged the road network, creating the need for more funding.
A Poor Record
As a nation, the UK has a poor record when it comes to road maintenance. In 2016 a survey conducted by Waze discovered that the country was the third worst in Europe for driver satisfaction. Only Russia and Romania came out worse. A significant amount of respondents cited poor road surface quality as being a pressing issue. According to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) road quality index, the UK’s roads rank 37th out of 141 countries; putting them between those of Slovenia and Lithuania; just a little better than Rwanda.
The Netherland’s roads perform well when scrutinised. It finished in first place in Waze’s survey and second place in the WEF’s index. This shouldn’t be surprising, the Dutch government spends 62% of its infrastructure budget on roads. It also spends £25,000 per kilometre of road whilst the UK government spends £22,000 per kilometre; no wonder the Dutch don’t have a pothole pandemic.
Are Rubber Roads The Answer?
Faced with pothole pandemonium, a British company is calling for asphalt rubber to be used in road production. Roadmender Asphalt believes that the material can greatly increase the lifespan of roads. It points to Sweden where road life expectancy has ‘shot through the roof’ after using rubber. It’s suggesting that the UK’s equivalent material, mastic asphalt (currently used on motorways), should be used on other roads as well.
Harry Pearl, CEO of Roadmender Asphalt, believes the answer to the pothole problem lies as much with technology as it does investment. He said, “whilst the new research from Zurich UK and Cebr paints a bleak picture for the state of Britain’s roads, the issue of pothole continuity does not take into account the new innovations that are on the horizon. Of course greater investment in our road networks will always help to alleviate the issue, but as seen in countries such as Sweden and their Scandinavian neighbours, innovative technologies are there to be utilised”.
Pearl’s language seems carefully chosen. In effect, he’s stating that the government can put away its money; or at least some of it. Instead, new construction methods will produce roads more cheaply and reduce maintenance costs to boot. Who knows, maybe you’ll find yourself driving on a rubber road before long?
Third World Roads? Britain Has A “Shocking” Pothole Pandemic – https://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-news/third-world-roads-britain-has-a-shocking-pothole-pandemic/
5 Car Parts That Potholes Can Damage – https://autoserveclub.co.uk/blog/5-car-parts-that-potholes-can-damage/