The UK’s highways engineers have prevented widespread structural damage to the road network by heading off the worst excesses of winter weather, according to the Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE).
A strategy of pre-salting roads to avoid serious damage from icing, and rapid action to address minor defects, has significantly cut the number of potholes on roads this year.
Richard Hayes, vice-president of the IHE, and area highways manager at Northumberland County Council, said: “Salting is often interpreted purely as a road-use safety action, but adopted strategically as a maintenance measure – as it has been this winter by local authorities following the recommendations given in the Quarmby Report – has prevented the break-up of the underlying road structure.”
The Quarmby report has given better guidance on the use of salt following the last two winters.
Richard Hayed added: “By steering road maintenance in this way, highways engineers have saved authorities the need for costly structural repairs.
“This prudence must be acknowledged, and local authorities must support engineers in investing their savings to return the road network to a state that is safe for all road users: replacing worn white lines and upgrading road surfaces.”
For more information contact Richard Hayes at the IHE on 07786 856116.