The On Going Costs of Resurfacing Roads

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Roads are an important part of daily life for both industry and domestic life. Roads are required for people to get to work, for goods to be transported, and for holiday makers to get to their airports. The number of road users is forever increasing proportionally to the increase in the UK population. However road use is not only proportional to population increase but also the road damage. Road damage becomes increasingly more common as the number of road users increases. Wear and tear also increases as more vehicles use roads requiring roads to be resurfaced. Potholes are a danger to road users safety and are one of the top causes for one vehicle crashes.

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It is important to resurface roads damaged from wear and tear because of safety issues. Potholes can cause accidents to both capable and incapable drivers. It is very important that roads are safe for users as the cost of human life is significantly greater than the monetary cost of repairing roads. A cyclist was recently awarded £70,000 after a pothole crash. The cost of the accident and the damage caused both physically and mentally to the cyclist is significantly greater than the cost to ensure that all roads of kept in a usable state. However with more and more roads becoming worn and torn councils are coming under huge strains to prevent a ‘road crisis’ as a recent report of local councils states that road damage is ‘escalating at an alarming rate’.

The cost to resurface and repair British roads has now reached £12bn. This figure is the approximate cost to repair roads to a ‘reasonable’ condition. An asphalt industry alliance survey concluded that the cost has risen from £10.5bn in 2013 despite over 2 million potholes being filled in. The study claims that the main issue is that councils are spending too much money filling in sudden cracks and patching over holes instead of focusing on the long term restoration of the roads. The most damaging time of year is winter when heavy rain and ice can cause severe damage to roads. The government has increased the amount of funds available for the restoration of roads however local authorities are still disappointed as significantly more money is required to counter act the weather and produce smoother and safer roads. Whilst the government is under strain in any areas it is important to consider the human risk factor when deciding whether to allocate more funds or to create an inquiry to ensure that roads or repaired cost effectively with longevity in mind.