Planned maintenance is key to prevent costly pothole repairs

The 17th Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance survey has highlighted the importance of planned maintenance in order to prevent potholes and pothole repairs.

The report explains that overall, pothole repairs can be 20 times more expensive than planned maintenance. It also stresses that the cost of filling 1.7 million potholes across England and Wales was an estimated £90 million, with an added 10 per cent increase in resulting public complaints.

The report has shown that one in five roads now have a residual life of less than 5 years, as a result of funding shortfalls for highways maintenance – almost £800 million annually for England and Wales, with £5.3 million per authority – and lack of long-term planning, which have hindered highways engineers to undertake the necessary preventative works and increased demand for pothole repairs.

The likelihood of potholes occurring on well maintained roads is significantly reduced, even through severe winter weather. However, without a planned maintenance programme in place, potholes will start to occur, as well as rising costs, with the estimated worth of last year’s winter weather damage at £600m. In addition, it could take 11 years to clear the backlog and get roads back into good condition, with the bill amounting to a potential £10 billion.

Forward thinking planned road maintenance programmes and the implementation of new innovative solutions are vital to effectively address the issue of increased potholes. A shift to long-term solutions and preventative measures other than reactive repairs, are need in order to avoid further deterioration and disruption on UK roads.

Highways maintenance contractor JPCS, has developed the innovative surfacing product range, Rejuvo, which contains recycled aggregates such as recycled rubber tyres in form of rubber crumb. Rejuvo products have a long-term effect on surface defects, helping to prevent further deterioration and extend the life of roads.

Peter Shone, Managing Director at JPCS said:

“Our cold micro-asphalt Rejuvo range of products work by resealing the old surface and preventing further deterioration. It also enhances the surface life expectancy by reducing the potential of the plants and moss to get established. The laying process uses easily portable, manual machinery which enables us to access the challenging access areas, such as narrow footways. In addition, there is very little noise or smell during the resurfacing operation with minimal disruption to pedestrians, local residents and road users, since the process is both manual and cold applied. This means Rejuvo products are perfect for use in busy pedestrian areas and high population density housing estates.

“Rejuvo products are also specifically designed as an alternative option for cases where complete excavation of a footway is required. Rejuvo products can be installed for around 20 per cent of the full reconstruction cost, with added environmental and safety benefits.

“Our pothole and carriageway defect repair product, Rejuvopatch, which is part of the Rejuvo range, is very effective in tackling pothole reduction. It is developed in house, and it is flexible, durable and extremely cost-efficient.”

Rejuvopatch is used extensively throughout the UK by many Local Authorities, including West and Chester Council, Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, Surrey County Council, West Sussex County Council, and Cambridgeshire County Council. Rejuvopatch has also received praise from the UK National Cyclists Organisation. The organisation presented Cheshire West and Chester Council with an award for the standard and quality of the work in repairing potholes using Rejuvopatch, also reaching top of the league for both the quality and speed of repairs.