Roddy Graham's blog: 12 March 2010 - Black hole
12 March 2010
Roddy Graham is chairman of the ICFM and commercial director of Leasedrive Velo
Black holes simply will not go away - ask any scientist! Indeed those I keep ranting on about (see blogs dated Jan 14 and Feb 18) just continually grow in number and size. Of course, those I write about are the very ones that jar your spine ever more frequently and might end up by smashing your vehicle suspension too. Potholes are on the increase and so are the costs to you and me, as already predicted.
It has been reported that already one council has increased its council tax by more than originally planned just to cover its increased road maintenance bill. On an average council tax bill, this will equate to £5 per household.
Local councils, through their Local Government Association, have been lobbying the Department for Transport for an extra £100m to cover emergency repairs.
As previously reported, it is estimated that there are 1.6 million potholes on the 246,000 miles of the UK's secondary roads, with an increase of 700,000 in the past two years alone and still rising.
One pothole every 120 yards resulted in compensation claims last year of £47m for injury and damage plus an estimated £240 repair bill for the average driver.
The AA itself estimates that insurance claims directly resulting from pothole damage has increased fourfold in the past two years. Last month, 2,400 vehicle claims were submitted alone.
To make a successful claim against a local council, drivers must have reported the problem first. The trouble is that now so numerous are the potholes that councils are failing to meet their own average targets of making a temporary repair within 48 hours.
Until last month, apparently the worst road in the UK was Priory Road in Hull which had 319 potholes over a 400-yard stretch.
Given that frightening statistic it might be worth the likes of www.potholes.co.uk running national, county and local council league tables of the ten worst reported roads.
The Asphalt Industry Alliance reckons the average repair cost of filling in a pothole to be £70 and it will take 15 years to fix at a cost of £10bn.
Plenty of time then to get those league tables up and running, and naming and shaming!
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