ROAD preservation experts Velocity have described Britain’s local roads as “a mess” in the wake of alarming new figures that reveal the country now has a pothole for every mile of road.
Part of the Reece Group of Companies, Velocity are calling on more local authorities to take preventative action to tackle the growing pothole backlog.
Velocity repaired 376,000 potholes across the UK so far this year – a 46% increase on last year – including Durham, North Somerset, Cheshire, Kent, Essex, Herefordshire, Hampshire, South Gloucestershire and Hertfordshire.
Now, in the wake of the shocking new figures about the state of the UK’s roads, the industry leaders are appealing to more local authorities to take action to preserve their local road network.
Official data from councils across the UK has revealed a 79% increase in compensation claims in the past financial year from motorists as a result of pothole damage.
Describing the situation as a “pothole epidemic”, breakdown service Britannia Rescue said local authorities had received 32,600 claims in the past financial year, paying out £2.5m in compensation to motorists.
Phill Lewis, sales manager of Sunderland-based Velocity, responded: “We cannot escape from the stark reality that our road network is in its worst state in living memory.
“While there is no doubt that our motorways must be preserved, the desperate need for action on our rural and local network seems to be have been conveniently forgotten.
“Quite simply, our local roads are a mess. And our minor roads will continue to suffer as the budgetary cuts bite ever harder.
“The nation’s road users are the biggest losers, of course, but I have every sympathy with the local authorities who must deal with the double-edged sword of ever-increasing road defects and ever-decreasing budgets.
“But the road network is this country’s biggest asset, so it is vital that everything possible is done to maintain our roads and ensure they do not continue to deteriorate at the same alarming rate.
“There is now an urgent need not only to get to grips with the existing pothole backlog but to take preventative measures to ensure tomorrow’s potential potholes don’t form.”
Britannia claimed that short-term fixes were often chosen over longer term solutions, with 23% of councils reportedly admitting they usually temporarily fix potholes rather than resurface the area.
They also claimed that the average cost of repairing a pothole was around £50, which they said councils could have been used to repair more than 50,000 potholes.
But Mr Lewis responded by saying: “Although occasionally unavoidable, temporary fixes are clearly not the way forward.
“Unfortunately, conventional methods for fixing potholes and other road defects are often take too long and cost too much.
“That is why an increasing number of councils – many of them in the South of England – are turning to Velocity for quick, cost-effective and long-lasting repairs.”
Capable of repairing up to 150 potholes per day at a fraction of the cost of conventional methods, Velocity’s machines carry all the necessary equipment and materials to repair potholes and other road defects.
Velocity’s expertise has been utilised by highways authorities in Kent, Cheshire and Essex over the past 12 months, with their specialist machines and highly-skilled three-man crews making a huge impact on the condition of the highways network in all three counties.
- The Reece Group is also the holding company for Velocity and a number of innovative north east engineering businesses – including Pearson Engineering, Pearson Engineering Services and Responsive Engineering Group – operating in the defence, subsea and construction markets.
- The group’s strategy is focused on expanding the business in existing and new market both organically and through acquisition, creating employment and wealth in the North East of England.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Date issued: October 11 2013.
The Reece Group Limited (RGL) is a privately owned business and the holding company for a number of innovative north east engineering businesses.
Turnover in 2011 was over £211m and the group has circa 530 employees. The board of directors consists of Executive Chairman – John Reece, Chief Executive Officer – Phil Kite, Chief Operating Officer – Roger Anderton.
The Group’s strategy is focused on expanding in existing and new markets both organically and through acquisition. Companies owned by RGL are:
Pearson Engineering Limited – operates in the defence sector designing and developing of a range of counter mine and counter IED equipment that increases the capability of armoured fighting vehicles. It was awarded the Queens Award for Enterprise in Innovation in 2012 and in the same year was also the winner of The Journal’s Fastest Growing Businesses.
Pearson Engineering Services – specialises in high quality precision steel fabrication for the defence and sub-sea sectors and has recently invested in aluminium processing equipment which will enable it to target new markets.
Velocity UK – specialises in road repairs and preservation, providing highly-skilled teams and machines to authorities across the UK and now taking its innovative road repair expertise to overseas markets.
Responsive Engineering Group – provides a range of subcontract manufacturing services including machining, welding/fabrication, pressing, assembly, testing as well as laser and waterjet cutting, predominantly to the oil and gas industry.
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