In December, last year, two British town councillors threw a street party for a pothole. It was two years old.
The stunt worked.
The following day the pothole was filled in by the authorities.
Not to be up-staged, the councillors then threw a lavish party, complete with cake and candles, to mark its demise. The people of Worthing, in West Sussex, applauded.
Unfortunately, as one of the councillors noted during the wake, plenty of its fellow potholes survive.
Apparently, the U.K.’s roads rank somewhere between Slovenia and Lithuania in quality; that’s 37th in the world. An obvious disgrace.
The U.K. road maintenance budgets fell from £1.1 billion in 2009 to £700 million in 2017. That’s the equivalent of 8 million potholes. The U.K. Asphalt Industry Alliance claims there is a road repair backlog of £11billion. If my math is correct, that is 220 million potholes.
I wonder who collects these statistics? A little old man with a notebook counting potholes? Maybe an army of little old men with notebooks counting potholes? The image is …………I’m lost for words!
Don’t laugh! Nottinghamshire is the pothole capital of the U.K with 253,920 potholes reported between 2017 and 2019. Someone must be counting them. Even the Conservative Party manifesto announced the “biggest-ever pothole-filling programme” with a promised budget, over five years, of £2.5 billion. This is serious stuff!
If you think this is bad, I was talking to a friend in Trinidad last night, and he told me that a local newspaper recently published a photograph of someone in Port of Spain, the capital, taking a bath in a pothole. I’m trying to get a copy of that photograph.
Seriously, I think it’s time to invest in vehicle shock-absorber manufacturers. A sure-fire way to make my fortune!
The good news is that authorities are starting to think about innovative ways of solving the issue of disintegrating road surfaces. Recycling old tires and mixing them with asphalt apparently produces a surface that is more expensive than asphalt but lasts twice as long.
I was inspired by that idea, which would solve two problems, roads repair and tire disposal. I asked a local contractor, who was looking at repaving our driveway in Colorado, if he could use that mix of tires and asphalt. He said, “Oh! the local asphalt companies tried that, but they decided it was too expensive and difficult to produce, so it’s not available anymore.”
So much for innovation, and consideration of the environment. I guess we’ll just have to have more street parties