Road Safety News
 

Government provides cash for one million potholes to be filled this year

Thursday 7th April 2016

The Government has confirmed it will provide £50m during this financial year to enable more than 100 councils across England to repair 943,000 potholes.

The money is part of the £250m ‘Pothole Action Fund’ which will be used to repair more than four million potholes by 2020/21.

Of the money to be provided in this financial year, the South West and the South East are the biggest beneficiaries, receiving £8.433,000 and £8,334,000 respectively.

The condition of the UK’s roads is often debated in the media and is something of a political hot potato.

The results of a survey published last month suggest the ‘one-time cost’ to get roads in England and Wales back into reasonable condition is now £11.8bn.

The Asphalt Industry Alliance’s (AIA) survey also estimated that 13% of England’s road network (excluding London) is in poor structural condition, while the length of time it would take to clear the carriageway maintenance backlog is 14 years.

In January, the RAC revealed it was called out to 25,487 pothole-related breakdowns in 2015, a rise of 24% year-on-year.

In total, the Government has announced spending of £6.1bn on local highways maintenance between 2015/16 and 2020/21. It says that this will give councils long-term certainty for the first time to plan future work with the aim of preventing potholes and improving local roads, bridges and street lighting.

Patrick McLoughlin, transport secretary, said: “I know how important well-maintained roads are to people across the country. Almost every journey starts and ends on a local road, so the government is giving councils £250m specifically to tackle the blight of potholes in their area.

“This is just one part of our unprecedented investment in local road maintenance over the next five years. We are giving a record £6bn to local authorities in England that will improve journeys across the regions.”

Photo: _chrisUK via Flickr. Use under Creative Commons.

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If you look at the picture, probably from the library, you will see two dangers and not just one. As a car driver it's the pothole that we are talking about that represents the only danger. To anyone on two wheels however, cyclists, motorcyclists, scooter riders that is an avoidable danger but another greater danger is the debris that came out of it. That aggregate can spread over a larger area and become so dangerous it's just as dangerous as diesel spillage or ice to anyone on two wheels.
R.Craven Blackpool

Agree (2) | Disagree (0)
+2

One can only look ahead when the road in front is clear and devoid of close traffic. So offenders who tailgate are going to be in trouble and its their own fault if damage occurs to their vehicles. All that they need to do is fall back to a sensible follow on position and then at least they may have the opportunity to easily avoid troubles on the road surfaces. Space is Safer. Common sense really. stay well back.
R.Craven Blackpool

Agree (2) | Disagree (0)
+2

From my own empirical findings I believe that roads that suffer visible problems like bumps, lumps and holes and be of poor quality tend to slow traffic down. Drivers/riders don't speed over them to the same degree but exercise a little restraint so that damage may be limited or eliminated. On the other hand a nice wide road without flaws is a mecca for those that would enjoy speed (not nec. above the speed limit). This also includes the normal driver who can now travel faster with less concerns. I have travelled a certain road for many years in a 60mph rural area and one can do that speed as it's on the straight with no junctions or other dangers. Recently because of its poor condition I and many others have driven it at slower speeds. Now its been repaired I can reach the speed limit without concerns for my suspensions units.
R.Craven Blackpool

Agree (3) | Disagree (0)
+3

On familiar routes, recurring sunken trenches and potholes can cause a reduction in speed on the approach, in the knowledge that it is probably still going to be there - even when repaired, they seem to always be a weak spot, so maybe some do slow down at certain points through force of habit.

Unexpected potholes can be a problem for traffic following too close, if sudden braking and swerving around such obstacles occur. It pays to look ahead and scrutinise the road surface as much as possible.

As some defects are not necessarily random potholes, but can be a defective reinstatement following a utility excavation, wouldn't the cost of repair be chargeable to the appropriate utility anyway and not need to come out of the Council's maintenance budget?
Hugh Jones

Agree (1) | Disagree (0)
+1

I do not favour leaving roads to crumble to reduce speeds. Apologies if I gave that impression. Just trying to find out if facts/evidence exist to help with my work in road safety.
Nick, Lancashire

Agree (2) | Disagree (0)
+2

I'm bemused by why anyone would link vehicle speeds with the desperate need to repair our crumbling roads. Deep potholes and worn road surfaces are a danger to everyone, particularly if you are on 2 wheels. There are plenty of non-destructive ways of slowing traffic down where it is necessary.
Paul Biggs, Staffordshire

Agree (3) | Disagree (0)
+3

I am bemused again at the Agree/Disagree facility!

I have two agrees and four disagrees to my last post. I cannot work out if people agree/disagree with potholes being filled is a good thing, or whether they agree/disagree that anecdotally speeds increase after re-surfacing. Perhaps they know/don't know about the existence of research into change of speed after re-surfacing? Or I am not clever enough to work it out?
Nick, Lancashire

Agree (2) | Disagree (1)
+1

We motorcyclists are probably not going to benefit much from this monies being made available for not only pot holes but also filling in surface damage (the top 2 inches) many of which do need a total resurface. As we as bikers enjoy the open roads, usually unclassified or otherwise out in the country, many not being arterial have an average resurface timescale of every 108 years. So many of us will not see the benefit of the 12 billion pounds that it will need to bring our roads up to a reasonable standard.
R.Craven Blackpool

Agree (6) | Disagree (0)
+6

Too little to late. 50 million is a drop in the ocean. Three years ago Blackpool Borrowed £30 million just to resurface some of the bad roads in the Borough. £50 million is not going to get very far but I don't suppose there are gangs employed by councils anymore that can do the job locally and it will make some suppliers of labour and materials busy.
R.Craven Blackpool

Agree (6) | Disagree (0)
+6

Whilst overall it is good news when potholes are filled does anyone know of any research into traffic speeds before and after re-surfacing? Granted filling a pothole is not the same as a complete new surface but anecdotally people consistently report increases in speed after maintenance works which remove "negative" road humps!
Nick, Lancashire

Agree (4) | Disagree (5)
-1

I want to say this appears to be papering over the cracks or more correctly over the holes. Unless of course they use small change to fill them. Technically this is not news or new money as it is part of the pothole action fund but I am sure a government minister will trumpet this as yet more help for councils and safety for all road users. Cynical or what?
Peter, City of Westminster

Agree (7) | Disagree (0)
+7