The effect that potholes can have on the transport system was brought abundantly to light last week when a number of potholes formed on the M25.
The potholes appeared without warning on the M25 and caused delays of between 2 and 4 hours. Drivers were either forced to take detours or simply sit in traffic and wait for the build-up on the M25 motorway to pass; delays that amounted to millions of pounds being wasted.
At the same time it is money or more accurately the lack of money that essentially causes potholes to form.
Potholes are formed generally by water seeping into cracks. When the water then freezes, expands and melts, the tarmac cracks and loosens. All it then takes is for numerous vehicle wheels to go over the broken tarmac leaving the road surface further damaged allowing for the formation of potholes.
Potholes are all about money. Not only do they incur significant costs by damaging wheels and tyres, they can also cause potentially expensive delays.
I fully appreciate that it is impossible to prevent potholes from ever occurring, however it is perfectly possible to build roads and perform repairs in such a way as to reduce the likelihood of potholes occurring.
Unfortunately this is extremely unlikely to occur where cost savings are having to be imposed on the Highway Authority and local authorities. I appreciate that in cases where cost savings have to be applied, “something has to give”.
That said, unless we can crack this problem, we face the prospect of yet further unnecessary costs and further delays.
Tristan Hallam is a Senior Personal Injury Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London.
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