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.
Following a budget that committed to the largest portfolio of inward investment in 30 years, on 14 May 2020 the UK Transport Secretary promised £1.7 billion for local road repairs and fast-tracked construction works worth £175 million while fewer passengers are using transport system. Hundreds-of-millions-of-pounds worth of upgrades have already been made to the nation’s road and rail networks during the lockdown period with more planned over the coming weeks and months. For the tyre industry, the new could also support flagging demand for OTR and off-road tyres used in such construction projects.
Reflecting the poor surface quality of many of the UK’s road network, with its potholes and debris, as well as the increase in speed humps and ramps, the number of vehicles entering the workshop with damage to their oil sumps caused not just by impacts, but from corrosion to exposed surfaces, has risen considerably.
“The amount of potholes we see on UK’s roads is very concerning as this is not just a serious safety issue, but an economic one too,” said Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers across the UK.
James Stamp, head of transport at KPMG UK comments on the Chancellor’s commitment to invest in UK roads. He said:
“In the last budget, the Government announced a major road investment program worth £15billion. Today, the Chancellor announced that road tax (VED) income will be “ring fenced”. This provides some clarity about where funding for the ambitious road projects will be found.
An analysis of RAC breakdowns has shown that potholes are more of a problem to British drivers than ever, according to a spokesperson for Click4Warranty. Faulty suspension and damaged springs are traditional indicators of the condition of Britain’s road surfaces. More faulty springs means more potholes and more potholes means more wear and tear on your vehicle. Britain has seen a dramatic increase in the number of suspension-related repairs in the UK over the last three years, with the annual cost for drivers reaching £730m.
The 20th Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey highlights a 33 per cent increase in the number of potholes filled over the last year. However, according to the asphalt industry, even this increase barely keeps pace with the damage done to roads each year. Indeed, the asphalt industry said the money invested was “wasted”.
Despite local authorities reporting an increase in their overall maintenance budget, one in six roads in England and Wales are still classed as being in poor condition and an estimated £12.16 billion is needed to get the local road network back into reasonable condition.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced that a record £6 billion will be spent on tackling potholes and improving local roads between 2015 and 2021. The announcement was made today (23 December 2014) and the investment amounts to £976 million a year, apparently enough to fix around 18 million potholes across the country.
Patrick McLoughlin said: “Roads play a significant part in everyday life. Poorly maintained local roads, blighted by potholes, are a menace to all road users, particularly during the festive period as people travel to see family and friends. It is vital we have good quality roads. This government has already taken strong action by spending £1 billion more on local roads maintenance than was spent in the previous parliament.
As of May 2014, a number of Continental truck and bus tyres will be fitted to MAN vehicles as original equipment. The steer axle Conti EcoPlus HS3 and drive axle Conti EcoPlus HD3 in sizes 315/70R22.5 and 315/70R22.5 XL are the first sizes to be approved by MAN Truck & Bus. The company has also selected Continental bus tyres for fitment to its MAN and Neoplan brands; three versions of the Conti Coach HA3, including an ‘ED’ (Extra Duty) version developed for use on demanding roads, will be supplied as original equipment.
Maxxis International has launched a new advertising campaign that focuses on the people who trust its tyres to deliver on the world’s roads, racetracks and off-road courses. The new ‘Good company. Always.’ campaign will run in trade, motorsport and consumer media throughout 2014, highlighting the benefits of using the manufacturer’s tyres through the people that use them for personal and professional transport.
The extremely wet British winter has had a devastating impact on the state of roads across the UK, a report by the Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) has revealed. As a knock-on effect of the potholes, fast fit and garage network HiQ says that more motorists have been forced to repair their cars, increasing the number of such jobs by 14 per cent in November 2013 – February 2014 compared to the same period in 2012-2013.
As of today, HGVs of 12 tonnes and more will pay a charge to use UK roads. The introduction of the new HGV levy has been introduced a year ahead of schedule and is paired with a reduction in Vehicle Excise Duty. The Department for Transport says the VED reduction means that nine out of ten UK registered HGVs will pay no more under the new system than they did before 1 April 2014. Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin describes the implementation of a user-pays system that also covers foreign hauliers, who previously were not charged for road use in Britain, as a step that will “provide a massive boost for the UK haulage industry.”