My Wrekin
Potholes - More than a surface issue

A new industry report addresses local authority pothole struggles

Last year, one pothole was filled-in the equivalent of every 22 seconds at a cost of £93.7 million

A new report has been published by specialist civil engineering products provider Wrekin, to shed light on the relationship between failing ironwork and the UK’s extensive pothole problem.

‘Potholes - More Than a Surface Issue: Helping Local Authorities Find Solutions to the UK’s Pothole Problem’ combines industry voices from: local authorities, Gaist – the provider of roadscape intelligence solutions –, and the Local Council Roads Innovation Group (LCRIG).

Together with Wrekin, the report explores how gully grates, manhole covers, and pothole formation are linked. In turn, how this is adding to the millions of pounds being spent on road repairs across the country.

and failing ironworks are only adding to the issue

Dave Sanders, head of technical sales at Wrekin, said: “We know firsthand the difficulties facing local authorities when it comes to potholes. Councils are struggling to keep up with repairs and in some cases have recurring issues, which cause even more disruption and cost across the road and highways network.

“The problems stem all too often from specification of poor quality ironwork with unsympathetic bedding features. This is in addition to poor installation and bedding materials used. Patch repairing already subpar works then creates a worsening cycle of potholes and ironwork failures.

Pothole White Paper mock-up

“From our work and speaking to local authorities about the issues, we know there is more that can be done to address the underlying causes of potholes. In lots of cases, this is the ironwork. Where appropriate, both potholes and ironwork failures need to be considered together, rather than repairs being completed in silos. By prioritising quality, not only will this help to keep roads free from potholes, but will ensure long lasting gully grate and manhole cover installations.”

Pothole incidents in June were at their worst for five years, the AA Pothole Tracker revealed. With autumn and winter approaching, potholes will be an even greater concern In anticipation, the UK’s Potholes Fund has increased by £200m to £700m for the current financial year.

Dave said: “It is timely to consider how local authorities can find solutions to the ongoing pothole problem. The colder weather will only increase road surface issues. It is imperative that the right strength materials and quality installation has taken place, or the likelihood of failing ironworks and associated potholes will only continue. Our aim is to raise awareness of the issues and take a whole life cost approach to repairs and replacement, so that local authorities and utility companies can make longer term savings.”

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