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The end of potholes in Britain?

Eleanor Newis
Feb 1, 2019



The UK Government has announced there will be funding for plastic roads that might be able to stop potholes from forming. This is part of a wider variety of research and technology the Government is backing to improve the quality of Britain’s roads.

The Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, said that £22.9 million is going to be used to fund trials of plastic roads across eight local authorities in the UK. These will be Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Cumbria, Staffordshire, Kent, Reading, Suffolk, Solihull and Birmingham.

Some other ideas that the Government is planning to trial include using kinetic energy gathered from roads to power the lighting, and usage geothermal energy to stop car parks and bus stations from freezing dangerously during winter months.

Around £1.6 million of the fund is going to be used to extend an existing plastic trial already happening in Cumbria.

This involves recycling waste plastic into small pellets, which are then added to an asphalt mix instead of Bitumen. Bitumen is partly derived from oil and is used to help bind asphalt together.

The proposed solution is said to increase the life span of roads on which it is implemented.

Grayling said: ‘Potholes are the number one enemy for road users and this Government is looking at numerous ways to keep our roads in the best condition.

‘Today’s trials will see how new technologies work in the real world to ensure our roads are built for the 21st century.’

Potholes have become a growing issue in the UK. They normally get worse at this time of year, with collapsed areas in the tarmac of roads resulting from the pressure of cars and bad weather.

They damage vehicles and can make drivers career in the wrong direction, making the roads more dangerous. Cyclists are also vulnerable as they can be thrown from their bikes, potentially being injured.

The AA says that insurance claims for accidents involving potholes have been increasing in number, and in the October Budget, the UK Chancellor Philip Hammond promised an extra £42 million for councils in England to deal with ‘potholes, repair damaged roads, and invest in keeping bridges open and safe.’

Hopefully, the Government will press forward with their plans and tackle the situation. Until the new measures and technologies come into play however, you should drive carefully and ensure that you have adequate car insurance in case your vehicle is ever damaged.

You can make sure you have the right policy by using a price comparison tool like A Spokesman Said to read up on the insurers available and find the right price and cover for you.

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