Blaming utility companies for potholes

The attempts to blame utility companies for the state of our roads, simply won’t wash. Some of the damage may result from utility works, but the bulk of the current epidemic of potholes is down, surely, to lack of maintenance.

I remember some years ago the estimate was given that that road maintenance in the north-east was £3 million in arrears. In the period since then there has been little sign of the mass maintenance that was required.

At a conservative estimate, road users in this country in this country pay £36 billion in road taxes.

Quite simply, we are not getting the quality that we should expect for even a fraction of that outlay.

It is quite alarming to see how extensive is the deterioration of our roads. It is hard to imagine how our councils will be able to afford the massive cost of putting right damage caused by neglect.

In the meantime, I am alarmed at the safety implications of the current situation. Drivers are having to watch the road surface, rather than other road users, and it is not unusual to find cars coming the other way swerving into your path to avoid potholes.

The one good thing that may come from this, is a recognition of the need to re-establish the old regular maintenance programmes that our roads used to enjoy.

Our councillors and council officials would do well to remember the old proverb “a stitch in time saves nine”.
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