Will Government Investment Fix Pothole Problem?
Wednesday, 1st April 2015
25 March saw the first "World Pothole Day", proclaimed by serial tweeter "Mr Pothole" who regularly comments on the sorry state of the nation's roads and actively campaigns to ensure potholes are repaired.
This followed the success of the first UK national pothole day held on 15 January of this year in raising awareness of the issue of the poor state of the nation's roads.
The obvious issue, is that of funding. Devon County Council is one of many councils who claim that they simply do not have the funds to keep on top of the rapidly forming hazards.
A casual glance along any country road in the county would reveal plenty of potholes, and it would appear that the plea of Devon County Council for locals to help maintain their own roads have fallen upon deaf ears.
The Department for Transport announced on the 24 March a £275 million investment into the improvement of local roads, to be spread throughout 28 councils across the UK.
Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin said:
"Good quality local roads are essential for people to get on with their daily business… This government has put record funding in place for local roads as part of our long-term economic plan to improve journeys, create jobs and drive economic growth."
In addition to the economic factors there is the issue of safety. Potholes and other associated flaws in road surfaces pose a risk to road users, and often lead to serious accidents and injuries.
A group particularly at risk are cyclists. At a time when cycling is to be encouraged to increase fitness levels and promote environmental causes, it is essential to ensure that the roads upon which people cycle are safe.
Whilst this government investment in the infrastructure of our road network is a very welcome sign of the country's economic recovery, it remains to be seen if tangible improvements will be made.