UK roads the second safest roads in Europe, will road repair investment match increased commuting?
Only Sweden has safer roads than the UK, according to figures unveiled by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) that cover Europe. In light of this, Sheffield-based Roadmender Asphalt commissioned nationally representative research that has explored commuter habits post-lockdown, showing that 69 per cent of Brits would rather cycle or drive in to work now than take public transport due to the COVID-19 risk, amounting to 24,261,000 people. Further to this, the study has unveiled that 65 per cent of Brits would not feel comfortable commuting to work via public transport anymore and think it will be one of the most stressful parts of their day.
Such an influx of road users hoping to avoid public transport means it is more important than ever that councils ensure potholes and road defects are addressed quickly, maintaining safety on the roads. Or, to look at it another way, a swift return to peak road commuting means both more normal tyre wear on cars, but also increased risk of mid-service tyre failure caused by deteriorating roads.
Roadmender’s research found that 19 per cent of Brits in the study said that they would now support their council tax bill being increased by 10 per cent in order to provide the financial assistance for road maintenance. This move could raise a potential further £2.5 billion for pothole refilling in England alone.
Harry Pearl, CEO of Roadmender Asphalt added: “The announcement last week by the Chancellor to provide councils with continued financial support will allow local authorities continue their fantastic work in maintaining our local road networks. With this additional funding, it shows that central government are serious about helping councils across the country ensure safety for the influx of road users we are about to witness. These latest league tables demonstrate the superb work done by councils.
After a decade of austerity, councils have naturally gravitated towards innovation and have helped launch R&D hubs, working with innovative SMEs . Together, SMEs and councils have started to ask why are pothole repairs filled with the same materials made to build roads, when they can fill potholes with materials made specifically for the job, that may prove to be significantly more efficient and cost-effective.”