Better Road Repair This Autumn?
At the beginning of the year, multiple local councils promised to invest millions into their roads to keep them safe and in perfect condition; Essex County Council plans to spend £300 million over the next three years, and £254 million has been promised by Birmingham Council to help with the expanding issue in the area. With so many road repair projects going underway, and with winter fast approaching, we ask what we can do to ensure our roads stay in perfect health?
1 - Pothole Repairs
In a recent survey, 55% of the users replied with potholes when asked if they could pick just one problem with our roads that should be focused on. Nearly £8 million was paid out in claims over the past 2 years related to potholes alone. Pothole repair is a solution that is becoming more and more in demand and is a problem that is easy to solve. There are many many ways to go about pothole repair, for example, fillers, sealants and asphalt patches, and we as drivers can help make a difference too. Every year Street Repairs holds a National pothole day to raise awareness of the increase in the number of potholes in the UK. You can participate by joining in on Social Media, or downloading the app they have created to report any potholes you spot on the roads.
2 - Regular Cleaning
It may seem obvious - but it is a crucial step in maintaining our roads to the highest standards whilst simultaneously reducing the need for road repair. If a road is left without cleaning, road markings could become less visible, or drains could become clogged with litter/debris, causing possible flooding (which causes a great amount of damage to roads). Although a lot of road cleaning is left to the council, we can still help to keep our roads clean by doing some of the following:
1. Remove large sticks and branches from roads if you see them, as they can clog/jam sweeper’s operating system, as well as our drains.
2. Avoid dropping litter - this will help improve water runoff during heavy rain.
3. report anything you see that could cause negative effects on our roads - for example, abandoned vehicles - to your local council.
3 - Anti-skid Solutions
Skidding is a large risk on the roads, especially in winter, and is a very big cause of accidents and damage to the roads. Using an Anti-skid product on roads would not only increase the standard but the level of safety. Anti-Skid products provide a very high friction surface that massively reduces the risks of skidding/sliding on the road. Skidding is not only a large risk to the driver but can damage our roads by leaving tyre marks and wearing down the surface, therefore increasing the need for road repair. There are a few alternatives to anti-skid surfaces, such as tapes, pads, or even specialised brakes (anti-lock) that reduce the risk of skidding and give you more control of the car when braking.
4 - Line Repair
Line markings contribute greatly to the standard and safety of our roads; Motorists follow them and trust them as guides in order to drive safely. So if they are worn down or of bad quality, they risk causing confusion, and a possible accident. Reports have claimed that nearly a third of the length of our single carriageway A-roads have line markings so worn out that they do not meet the recognised standards. In a report carried out by EuroRAP a few years ago, it was shown that collectively, the 15 most improved roads (in the report) contributed to a 62% drop in accidents over three years, therefore falling from 494 fatalities to 190. There are many innovative products available in line marking that are designed to maintain good standards for a long amount of time, for example, preformed thermoplastic which is designed to last years whilst maintaining its retroreflectivity.
5 - Overbanding
Overbanding tape can be used in multiple ways to aid road repair, keeping roads safe and in top condition. For example, after filling in potholes it can be used as a seal around the edges to ensure durability, and it can give a waterproof overbanding seal for small cracks and reinstatement joints (up to 5mm wide). This prevents the ingress of water which causes cracks. There are multiple types of overbanding designed for different surfaces/uses. MMA Overbanding can be used for crack infill on asphalt surfaces and provides a durable, skid-resistant surface with reduced risk of water damage. As it is a cold-lay product, it needs no heat or specialised equipment to apply. Thermo Plastic provides a completely water-resistant seal on road pavements and secondary roads. It requires a gas burner when in cold damp conditions, and wherever else necessary. Similarly to Thermoplastic, bitumen based overbanding gives an instant waterproof overbanding seal for road pavements and secondary roads. However, the main difference being it is poured into cracks and joints as a fill/overband product.