Dated: 05 January 2011
Thaw Reveals Big Problem
Like last year, the roads of Britain have taken a battering from the freezing conditions that are slowly beginning to disappear. Both the BBC and Sky News have run reports over the last couple of days detailing how large the pothole issue has become.
For many rural or single carriageway roads, the problem could even cause closures as the local authorities struggle to respond to each pothole.
During the spring of 2010, the state of the roads looked less than promising after similar wintery conditions, but with this recent cold snap the situation is said to be even more dismal.
Despite the fact that almost all of the UK is currently out of the freezing temperatures, early indications are that more harsh weather could be upon us again in a number of weeks, which would only add to the problem.
On the Sky News website, the director of the RAC Foundation, Professor Stephen Glaister, was quoted as saying, "The situation is already bad, but there is a real possibility this is only the beginning of our problems.
"Given that the financial situation is as bleak as the weather motorists should expect more problems. Road maintenance isn't a sexy subject, but filling in potholes is vital to keeping the country moving and is a priority amongst motorists, freight operators and voters.
"Last year, the Government provided an extra £100m to try and stem the tide of repairs, but this year that money won’t conveniently be found down the back of the sofa. Indeed, the regular annual budgets of highways authorities have already been cut.
"And even if another £100m was available it would only be a drop in the ocean when compared with the estimated multi-billion pound cost of dealing with the backlog of work built up over many years."
Potholes cause many problems if you are unlucky enough to drive through one. In extreme cases it can cause one – or more – of your tyres to burst. However, even if your vehicle is still in one piece after driving over a pothole, you may find that it has throw your wheel’s tracking out. This will cause the tyres to wear unevenly and cost you money in the long run.
If you have recently hit a pothole and you are worried about the effect that it has had on your wheels or tyres, it would be best to have them checked at your local garage.