The RAC and the AA have published the results of two new surveys highlighting the critical condition of the UK’s road network and the increased demand for pothole repairs.
According to the RAC survey, three quarters of patrol drivers consider the condition of rural roads to be poor or very poor, with two thirds also highlighting the inadequate conditions of suburban roads. A staggering 89 per cent of RAC patrol drivers also believe that lack of investment in road repairs and pothole repairs is to blame for the poor road conditions. The AA’s Streetwatch survey also found that even before the impact of the anticipated severe weather conditions, many UK roads already suffer from potholes, with an average pothole count of 14.9 compared to 12.5 last year, despite additional pothole repairs being carried out throughout the year in many areas of the country.
Local authorities are clearly feeling the squeeze of reduced budgets with an inevitable impact on highways. Yet the Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA) believes that forward thinking planned road maintenance programmes and the implementation of new innovative solutions are vital to effectively address the issue of increased potholes. Calling for urgent action, the RSTA has proposed a shift to long-term solutions, preventative measures other than reactive repairs, and forums to share best practice, to avoid further deterioration and disruption on UK roads.
National infrastructure contractor JPCS, has developed an innovative surfacing product range, Rejuvo, utilising recycled aggregates including recycled rubber tyres in form of rubber crumb. Rejuvo products have a long-term effect on surface defects and help to prevent further deterioration. Peter Shone, Managing Director at JPCS explained:
“Our cold micro-asphalt products reseal the old surface and prevent further deterioration, as well as enhancing the surface life expectancy by reducing the potential of the plants and moss to get established. In addition, the laying process uses easily portable, manual machinery that can access the narrowest of footways. Since the process is both manual and cold, there is very little noise or smell during the resurfacing operation with minimal disruption to road users, pedestrians and local residents. This means that Rejuvo products are ideal for high population density housing estates and busy pedestrian areas.”
“In terms of cost, the product is specifically designed for use where the only other option is complete excavation of a footway and can be installed for 20 per cent of the cost of full reconstruction, not to mention the environmental and safety benefits.”
One specific product in the range, Rejuvopatch, is particularly effective in tackling pothole reduction. Peter added:
“Rejuvopatch is a unique pothole and carriageway defect repair product which is flexible, durable and cost-efficient. It has even received praise from the UK National Cyclists Organisation, who presented Cheshire West and Chester Council with a national award for the standard and quality of the work in filling in reported potholes using Rejuvopatch. They also reached the top of the league for both the speed and quality of repairs.”
Rejuvopatch is used extensively and successfully around the UK by many Local Authorities, including Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, West and Chester Council, Surrey County Council, and West Sussex County Council, and Cambridgeshire County Council.