The Government has unveiled plans to keep roads ‘pothole-free for longer’ – including imposing higher standards on companies that carry out road repairs.
The plans, put out for consultation by the DfT on 6 March, would increase the guarantee on roadworks – so that if a pothole forms within five years, the company in question must return to bring the road surface back to its normal condition.
A new asphalt standard would also be introduced, allowing for the use of ‘new innovative surfacing’ such as asphalt with a high bitumen content.
Chris Grayling, transport secretary, said: “Potholes are the biggest enemy for road users and this Government is looking at all options to keep our roads in the best condition.
“Road surfaces can be made worse by utility companies, so imposing higher standards on repairs will help keep roads pothole-free for longer.”
The consultation, which will last for eight weeks, follows a number of other Government interventions designed to help improve road surfaces.
Last month, the DfT announced real-world tests of new road surfaces and technologies in eight areas, to see which emerging innovations provide long-term solutions to improve journeys.
The £22.9m ‘Live Labs’ projects will be delivered by councils – including Kent, Staffordshire, Reading, Suffolk and Solihull and Birmingham – and if successful, could be adopted by other authorities.
The schemes include expanding the testing of ‘plastic roads’ in Cumbria, using kinetic energy from Buckinghamshire roads to power lighting – and using geothermal energy to keep car parks and bus stations in Central Bedfordshire from freezing over.