- Politics and Social Issues»
Potholes are caused by road failure due to heavy wheel loads,lack of drainage of rain water and winter weather.Potholes increase the cost of vehicle maintenance which is estimated to be around 1billion pounds.The main damages are suspension failure,wheel alignment,axle damage and damage to wheels and tyres.
There are number of websites claiming to help with compensation and insurance claims.There are websites through which existence of potholes can be reported to the council.The repairs are undertaken with varying degree of success.The main delay in repairing is due to lack of funding which councils deny vehemently.
A road which is 94 yards with 80 potholes is a major concern for the residents.The cost of repairs is £5000 but council cannot find the money to repair. Councils have spent £90million in repairing 1.7million potholes last year.Average cost of repairing is £48 to £64 per pothole.
The local roads has evolved over a period time and therefore is thin in construction.Penetration of water through cracked construction can be a catalyst in the formation of potholes.Water seeps through these cracks and the winter weather causes the swelling of the road surface.During dry weather conditions cavities are formed under the road surface and cause the failure when vehicles use the fragile road. Repairing these potholes is only a temporary solution.Resurfacing is the longterm solution.Cut in expenditure has aggravated the problem.At the present level of investment ,resurfacing these local roads may never happen.Even with increased funding it is estimated to take over 60 years to resurface local roads.
Are the potholes repaired when reported
The road users are resorting to all kind of methods to invite attention to this ongoing problem.Some people report the potholes through the normal channels.One person started planting flower plants in potholes while another one sprayed paint around these potholes.If caught ,these people will be prosecuted.Councils have started repairing these potholes out of embarrassment.
There are number of stickers for sale displaying this frustration.Examples are:
*" I am not drunk.Trying to avoid potholes"
* " Yes.I have paid my tax.Now go and fix the potholes"
People who display these stickers are not being funny,they are using the stickers to take out their frustration.
Status of roads
The condition of roads are deteriorating day by day resulting in the requirement of additional funds.According to recent reports additional funds are allocated by the government to repair potholes.The funds allocated is sufficient to repair 19 million potholes.
The local roads have been ageing over a long period of time,the pot hole repair is only superficial.The materials below the thin surface itself has lost its strength ,recurrence of pothole is unavoidable.
Fracture potholes&Attrition potholes
I am trying to explain the different types of potholes in simple terms without using technical terms.Feature potholes are formed de to the pressure from the wheel loads.Engineered roads are thick formation by design and therefore the pot hole formation is in frequent.
Attrition potholes are common in local roads where the road surface is thin and the pothole formation is very common.Weather plays an im portent role in accelerating the pothole formation.These potholes form in clusters and therefore drivers cannot avoid these potholes.
The councils have reporting procedure for potholes.They claim to have inspection schedules drawn up to inspect these potholes,when reported.The action to repair is dependent on the priority.The repairs may take 7days ,28days or longer depending on the priority.
The procedure and the repair varies from council to councils.It also depends from the level of pressure from the residents and the allocation of funds.
Status of roads
Some roads which are bus routes are in an unacceptable condition as shown in the photographs.The condition of these roads are deteriorating day by day and this is the situation in a number of roads throughout the country.
The councils maintain that they are able to maintain the normal services despite the fact that there are budget cuts and redundancies.If this is true then were the councils overstaffed and inefficient in the past.
If there was lack of funds ,it is the duty of the councils to fight for additional funds to maintain the normal services.
This pothole was repaired within 48hours of taking this photo.We are unable to establish whether it is a coincidence or the outcome of our action.Whatever it is,we are pleased to note that the pothole was repaired.