£100 Million To Fix UK’s Pothole Problem
The government has promised £100 million to sort out the UK’s pothole problem, but is it enough?
It has been reported that Britain’s roads are some of the worst in the developed world. Local roads are set to benefit from an extra £100 million put aside by the government to fix those badly affected by the recent weather. The extra funding is planned to repair almost 2 million potholes, and help prevent further damage due to extreme weather.
The government has already given two separate pots of funding to local councils in order to tackle the UK’s pothole problem; £75 million from the Pothole Action Fund, and £46 million from the highways authorities. It is estimated that this funding will fill around 7 million potholes.
The government is also trialling the use of high definition pothole spotting cameras mounted to the front of refuse collection vehicles, to collect data on the state of local roads. The trial is being funded by the Department for Transport and is said to have cost more than £900,000. It is hoped that these costs will be recouped in future savings by preventing rather than repairing the problems on our roads.
Bridget Wayman, cabinet member for highways and waste at Wiltshire Council said: “As we continue to invest over £20m a year in highways to get rid of a historic backlog of maintenance, we look ahead to find new ways of avoiding potholes and other defects on our roads”.
Anyone who has reported a pothole problem online knows that the council very often fail to give any feedback, so what impact will the new pothole spotting cameras have?
Earlier this year the government announced that it will be rolling out lane rental schemes which had previously been trialled in London and Kent. These schemes will give local councils the ability to charge companies for digging up roads and it is hoped that this will reduce the number of potholes created. In addition to this it will encourage roadworks to be done outside of peak times and away from main roads therefore easing congestion. The Department for Transport claims that the local economy loses £4 billion every year due to a massive 2.5 million roadworks taking place which cause a huge problem with congestion.
Nicholas Lyes, the RAC’s head of roads policy, said: “Trials showed that some of the worst congestion caused by planned utility works in London was reduced by half on roads where lane rental was in operation, so rolling this out will extend the benefits nationwide.
“RAC research suggests congestion on our roads and journey time reliability are growing concerns for motorists so introducing lane rental should encourage better planning and coordination of roadworks, and mean utility works are completed in a swifter, more efficient manner.”
Has your vehicle been damaged by poorly maintained roads? If so, were you one of the lucky few to receive compensation from the local authority at fault?
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