Typical Damaged Road Surface in The UK.
Wherever you live in England, North, Midlands, or South, you will spot potholes. It doesn't matter what type of road it is, be it a side road or dual carriageway, like craters on the Moon, you'll find potholes. Potholes occur when the road surface is damaged. So what causes damage, to the surfaces, of our roads? Well, like anything physical in our world, nothing lasts forever and of course, general wear and tear occurs. Weathering and vehicles cause over time, the deterioration of the tarmac, (or asphalt for my American readers).
The first roads in this country, as far as I know, were built by the Romans. These roads, enabled the Romans to get around their Empire, pretty quickly. Roads back then were like what the internet is today, a quick way of communicating. In the Middle Ages, roads were little more than dirt tracks. It wasn't until, the 20th Century and today, that roads and their surfaces have come, into their own worldwide.
The UK or England has no excuse, for the terrible condition, of our roads. It all boils down to the number of roads that criss-cross our country and the budgets, to repair them.
Who is responsible for the road repair budgets? Well obviously, the local councils, are up and down our nation. But, the number of roads they can repair, depends on how much budget they get from the central government.
Funding has been slashed by the central government which they allocate for councils by more than, £9.5 billion. The Local Government Association or LGA said overall spending from the Department of Transport for England for road maintenance for 2021/22 is £1.39 billion. This down, (yes folks, another Tory cut!), from £1.78 billion the previous year.
Obviously, it goes without saying, this reduction will have a dramatic effect, on the number of potholes, that councils can repair. It will take £10 billion, it has been estimated, to repair the local backlog of potholes and other road repairs. Of course, the COVID pandemic has not helped and neither has canceled road repairs. The question has to be asked, why has the budget for road repairs, been slashed?
The question also, has been asked, are repairs of potholes and other road repairs, a post-code lottery? In other words, do more affluent areas, get their roads repairs first? Although I personally cannot produce any evidence of this, it would not surprise me. Also, as we have a Tory administration in power at the moment, do Tory councils, get a top-of-the-list allocation?
It is an utter disgrace, in this day and age, that our road surfaces often look like the surface of the moon, with potholes. They often feel too, like driving on the moon, when your vehicle encounters potholes. Obviously, your suspension will take a knocking, unless your vehicle is built to withstand, harsh terrain. Obviously, those with poorer incomes, whose vehicles are damaged by potholes, will find it harder to keep their car on the road.
Is there any redress from local authorities if it can be proved, that a bad road surface, has damaged a vehicle? Just like, if you fall on the pavement and injure yourself.
Potholes, when compared to other issues, may seem petty, however, if we do not maintain the repair of our roads, we will swiftly be back, to the dirt tracks of the Middle Ages.