Failure to fix motorway potholes creates misery

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Car Rental News - 08/08/2011


Transport bosses say only potholes bigger than soup bowls need urgent repairs.

Britain’s shocking roads are set to get worse, after transport bosses said that only potholes bigger than soup bowls require urgent repairs. The announcement has been labelled ‘dangerous and irresponsible’ by a union chief.

The UK’s Highways Agency, keen to save money, has altered its rules to say that a pothole must be the size of a soup bowl or larger for it to be filled in straight away. The Agency says the rules are being ‘redefined’.

In the past, contracters were required to make sure roads provided a ride defined as ‘even, comfortable and quiet’. Even minor ‘defects’ had to be patched up within 24 hours.

The new rules, however, only say that potholes deeper than 4cm or wider than 15cm will get urgent repairs. The new definitions apply to trunk roads and motorways.

The changes will be implemented later this year in the West Country. The rest of the country will get the new rules by 2015. The new definitions are similar to earlier changes implemented on minor roads.

Nigel Humphries from the Association of British Drivers has condemned the changes, saying they are ‘dangerous and irresponsible’. He warned that that a 4cm-deep pothole is a very big hole and the passage of heavy trucks will quickly lead to the hole getting bigger.

Mr Humphries says this could lead to drivers losing control. Malcolm Simms from the Asphalt Industry Alliance says the changes will lead to an increase in the number of temporary speed restrictions.

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