DCCI President Paul Collins: Pothole mess is costing businesses and motorists

DCCI President Paul Collins: Pothole mess is costing businesses and motorists

DCCI President Paul Collins: Pothole mess is costing businesses and motorists

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I HAVE been very fortunate in my career to have been able to drive some of the best vehicles on the road today, from luxury limousines to the finest sports cars.

It saddens me to have to say that I really don’t get the enjoyment I used to from driving these premium machines. Why? Well … Imagine driving down a dark country lane at night. The wind is blowing a gale. There are overhanging trees everywhere.

A car heads towards you with its misaligned lights dazzling you and the next thing you know there’s a loud bang. You are inclined to think you have been hit, until you realise that in fact it’s you who has hit something. In this case, a large pothole.

You reverse and try to spot where it is and then you see it, ring-fenced with a white painted circle because someone else has already reported it. If you meet oncoming traffic on a subsequent evening, wet and windy again, you will hear that same loud bang until it is filled.

In the past year, local councils in England alone paid out £23.8million to drivers in compensation claims according to the Asphalt Industry Alliance. The Alliance also estimates the cost to councils of restoring our roads to good condition is now £10.5billion.

The problem at the moment is that councils seem unwilling, just like central government, to grasp the central issue – that the main road arteries supporting the flow of commercial activity in this country are deteriorating at an alarming rate.

This is not only having a knock-on effect in terms of increased traffic congestion, but it’s also costing business and private motorists who are left to pick up the tab for repairs from pothole damage. Bills that they are often unable to claim back from local authorities due to the complexities of the compensation process.

Common sense, supported by research, says that a long-term approach to maintenance – involving repairs with rollers and edge sealants – will ultimately cost councils less, save businesses and drivers repair bills, and keep us on the move.

Comments (2)

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12:16pm Tue 11 Feb 14

poolebob says...

As a former highway engineer I must disgree and correct.

Claims for potholes are dealt with and paid for by Council's insurers so Council's don't pay directly.

The condition of the roads and the inability to do proper and lasting maintenance is a source of frustration to highway professionals and many elected members.

The problem Council's have is that their funding is being cut and cut and the money is not just available after they have funded statutory services. HIghway maintenance has been low on the list for funding for many years,
As a former highway engineer I must disgree and correct. Claims for potholes are dealt with and paid for by Council's insurers so Council's don't pay directly. The condition of the roads and the inability to do proper and lasting maintenance is a source of frustration to highway professionals and many elected members. The problem Council's have is that their funding is being cut and cut and the money is not just available after they have funded statutory services. HIghway maintenance has been low on the list for funding for many years, poolebob
  • Score: -8

12:51am Wed 12 Feb 14

billd766 says...

poolebob wrote:
As a former highway engineer I must disgree and correct.

Claims for potholes are dealt with and paid for by Council's insurers so Council's don't pay directly.

The condition of the roads and the inability to do proper and lasting maintenance is a source of frustration to highway professionals and many elected members.

The problem Council's have is that their funding is being cut and cut and the money is not just available after they have funded statutory services. HIghway maintenance has been low on the list for funding for many years,
OK the council may not pay directly however they DO pay the insurers directly and the more claims the insurers pay out the higher the insurance premium at renewal time.
As for your point that highway maintenance has been a low priority for years, whose fault and problem is that? Why it must be the fault of the council once again as it is their responsibility to maintain the roads, not the insurance company nor the motorist who uses them.
Poor maimtenance costs far more in the long term than fixing the job once and properly.
[quote][p][bold]poolebob[/bold] wrote: As a former highway engineer I must disgree and correct. Claims for potholes are dealt with and paid for by Council's insurers so Council's don't pay directly. The condition of the roads and the inability to do proper and lasting maintenance is a source of frustration to highway professionals and many elected members. The problem Council's have is that their funding is being cut and cut and the money is not just available after they have funded statutory services. HIghway maintenance has been low on the list for funding for many years,[/p][/quote]OK the council may not pay directly however they DO pay the insurers directly and the more claims the insurers pay out the higher the insurance premium at renewal time. As for your point that highway maintenance has been a low priority for years, whose fault and problem is that? Why it must be the fault of the council once again as it is their responsibility to maintain the roads, not the insurance company nor the motorist who uses them. Poor maimtenance costs far more in the long term than fixing the job once and properly. billd766
  • Score: 1

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