Friday, March 23, 2007

Potholes Update

Potholes are expensive things. A few months ago we blogged the case of a Mr Tyler who got £400 compensation from his local council when he drove into one; and overall, councils pay out about £70m pa on such cases.

But today we hear that councils have an eleven year backlog in repairing holes. Which is despite filling in well over a million holes last year, at a cost of £74m (for hole enthusiasts, the average cost works out at £56; £72 in London).

The backlog results from the squeeze on LA finances. As always, maintenance spending gets cut first, with road repair work being delayed and/or done on a "patch and mend" bodge basis (see previous blog).

Jim Crick says patch and mend is inefficient: "Left unchecked, this leads to the creation of potholes. The next level of deterioration would be structural damage and, ultimately, failure of the road.''

Who Mr Crick? Well, OK, he is Chairman of the Asphalt Industry Alliance, and may possibly have the teensiest axe. But the overall message is clear enough.

Stand by for more compensation payouts.

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