UK roads have potholes filled once every 19 seconds - is it the same hole?

With a vast backlog of repairs and a 15% boost to budgets, a survey has found road conditions are yet to see any significant improvement. Potholes everywhere.

UK roads have potholes filled once every 19 seconds - is it the same hole?

THE Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) has conducted a recent Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey, finding that despite a 15% increase to their budgets, and less traffic on the roads as a result of Covid-19, “road conditions have yet to see any significant improvement.”

As reported by the British Motorcycle Federation, the AIA has found that the extra highway & road maintenance funding has gone to cheap fixes as opposed to long term solutions. A statement in particular highlights that the problem is on a country-wide scale, with "the equivalent of one [pothole] being filled every 19 seconds.”

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We can only imagine they’re filling in the same pothole repeatedly, as it can take months for potholes to be rectified in my area. It’s not just unsightly, it can genuinely become un-seatly, with a dangerous pothole capable of catching out an unsuspecting rider with extreme consequences. 

On the subject of potholes, AIA Chair Rick Green said: 

“While the extra funding in 2020/21 was welcomed, using it to repeatedly fill in potholes is essentially a failure as it does nothing to improve the resilience of the network. The average frequency of road surfacing is now once every 68 years and the bill to fix the backlog of maintenance work on our local roads in England and Wales remains in excess of £10 billion.”

Seen above - a CB500X venturing down an unusually long pot-hole called a 'green-lane'. 

If there has been repeated nationwide lockdowns, with huge numbers of daily commuters working from home, a boost to their maintenance budget should have all but eradicated the issue. I’m sure they’re doing their best, but cheap fixes will need to be revisited time and time again, seems to be a bit of a vicious circle! 

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