Soapbox Corner

Okay, I’m starting to add little things to my blog and as I’ve said in my profile I will observe and comment on almost anything that catches my eye. Most of it, hopefully will be positive, but there will be negative points too. Here goes with one of my observations today………

Potholes in the roads have always been a perennial problem here in the UK, but the Beast from the East weather “phenomenon” of last week, has highlighted the massive issue of road maintenance.

Driving through certain towns yesterday was very interesting as I steered my car in and out of ever deepening crevasses in the tarmac, fearing either to clip the kerb or veer onto the other side of the white lines. Gritting my teeth, I decided to just drive over them, but it was bone jarring and I dread what that experience has done to my tracking and suspension. There weren’t a lot of options.

And here’s the crux. For years, successive governments have failed to tackle the problem. Local councils can only patch the holes which, in the long run, is a false economy. Within weeks, the fresh tarmac is disintegrating and falling apart. Bad weather causes further damage and makes smaller cracks into full blown potholes. It’s a never ending cycle. Roads need to be stripped back and the job done properly, but the funds are just not there.

But how much are councils spending in compensation claims from motorists with cars damaged by hitting the potholes? Nobody wants to tackle the issue here as it’s a hard one to solve.

For many years, UK motorists lament on how much they are taxed through fuel duty and road fund tax and see no benefits. Millions seem to be spent on upgrading the motorways to smart motorways that regulate the flow of traffic. Huge new road/widening schemes seem to be happening everywhere, which on a level is great if our infrastructure boosts the economy, but in our little towns and villages, roads are falling apart before our eyes and there seems no solution.

Blimey, I have got rather serious and I will step off the old soapbox now I’ve got that out of my system, but it does get you thinking as you involuntarily cry “ouch” for both your and your car’s bodies and wince heavily. Now here’s a thought – maybe it is a saving. Instead of installing speed humps to slow us down, they are allowing nature to create speed dips, an inverted speed hump. Saves sending five blokes out with spades to block the road for a week, while four of them lean on their spades watching their mate dig.

So for the rest of you motorists driving on our nation’s roads today, as they say on that American TV series of many moon’s ago – Hill Street Blues – “Be careful out there“.

Author: apathtosomewhere

Come with me and my dog on my meanderings around northern England and further afield, encountering all walks of life and everything in between!

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