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The truth, the hole truth

It is the neglect of timely repair that makes rebuilding necessary. 

The truth, the hole truth


It’s not getting any better out there is it? By which I mean I mean the state of our roads.

In the March Budget, George Osborne (remember him?) announced a £250 million Pothole Action Fund which will fix over 4 million potholes by 2020/21, with one million of them due to be fixed within 12 months.

Well, eight months in and we may be seeing some repairs but by no means enough. We are still seeing massive craters in the roads. And the ones that are worse too, are those that have you slaloming through them; just as you swerve to miss one, you end up in another.

Sure, some have been fixed. A great many, even, have been fixed. But we are now getting started with the time of year when they will start to appear again.

However, the UK’s road infrastructure is still suffering serious neglect. With the backlog for repairs increasing and maintenance budgets being slashed, councils are up against it time and resource-wise as much as any of us.

It’s partly the freeze/thaw/freeze/thaw cycle which does it for our roads. It’s partly the tendency for councils to opt for the quick-cheap-fix, rather than a longer-term repair. That and the huge volume of road users that take to our roads everyday in order to get on with their lives.

BMJ got involved with IKOplc and their #NOMOREPOTHOLES campaign earlier this year and we highlighted some of the worst offenders.

Next month sees another National Pothole Day – 16th of January 2017. It’s been launched by Street Repairs, (www.streetrepairs.co.uk) the website which campaigns for a decent repair programme across our streets, where you can report and showcase potholes with a few clicks of a button, share on social media and bring it to the attention of the authority in question as well as highlighting it as a danger to other road users.

We are still seeing far too many things like this.

Still, maybe this lady in Thailand has the right idea.


About Fiona Russell-Horne

Fiona Russell-Horne
Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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