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A gully grating with failure of the infill material, allowing a pothole to form

Planning budgets? Is it time to change your focus on ironworks?

29 February 2024
Dave Sanders
Dave Sanders

Head of Technical Sales

As the tax year draws to a close, it brings a period of strategic planning for local authorities, the public sector, and organisations in their supply chain. And with reports of council insolvencies and fiscal challenges faced by local authorities, pressures on budgeting are intensified. While the government is boosting budgets for potholes with an additional £200m, the Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA) recommended that further funding should be used to protect and preserve the network, as well as fill potholes. The emphasis is to try and stop potholes from forming in the first place. But when budgets are tight how can local authorities switch their focus from filling and repairing alone?

Focusing on a long-term approach to ironworks

The investment from the government is welcome, but finding the right solution is where local authorities need help. This is where a longer-term plan can help keep roads in better condition for longer. While it might mean a greater investment initially, the right ironwork should reduce the whole life cost of a manhole cover or gully grate installation.

Not only that, but a longer-term approach brings additional benefits, like reducing the impact on the environment. The average pothole repair in an asphalt surface, using traditional methods, emits approximately 30kgs of CO2 per repair, according to outdoor estate compliance experts Outco. A ‘right first-time’ installation reduces the need for multiple ironwork replacements, resulting in roadworks that cause traffic delays, noise, dust, waste, and CO2.

Trialling a more robust ironwork

Wrekin Products recently partnered with a local authority to address the recurring issues they were facing with gully gratings along an important A road. Regular replacements were taking place with the road surface incurring weaknesses and the familiar cycle of pothole formation.

Our solution was a trial of a Unite gully grate installed with Unipak bedding mortar. Together, these would improve the performance and stability of the ironwork and the grade of the bedding material.

Supervising the installation also helped reduce further risks of ironwork failure. The result is a solidly anchored gully grate with no issues with noise and no visible movement. While it is too early to see the results from this trial, Unite gully grates and access covers each come with a 10-year product warranty (subject to terms), giving peace of mind to the customer. Not only that but they have been installed more than 500,000 times across the UK in the last 20 years with zero reported failures.

Change your focus with Wrekin

For more information on how local authorities have successfully changed their focus with Wrekin, download our report - Potholes - More Than a Surface Issue: Helping Local Authorities Find Solutions to the UK’s Pothole Problem. In it, we provide more detail on the relationships between failing ironwork and the UK’s extensive pothole problem. Download it today or contact us for a free, no-obligation conversation on our Unite range and how they can benefit your roads - NOTE include link.

Road breaking up around gully grate installation creating a pothole

Potholes: More than a surface issue


Helping to find solutions to the UK's pothole problem

Potholes across the UK’s road and highway network are a real problem. But did you know ironwork specification and selection can affect and even increase the likelihood of a pothole forming?

Our new report explores;

  • Some of the ways in which potholes are caused; including identified links to ironwork
  • What features of ironwork can increase the likelihood of pothole formation 
  • Suggests solutions you should be looking for when specifying ironwork
  • and much more.

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