Pothole Blight Under Review – Ultracrete has the Cure

Potholes! - A scourge on motorists, a financial burden on councils, a plague of locusts slowly eating into Britain’s road network. And their appetite continues to intensify due to the recent series of harsh winters, and a severe shortage of funds with which to remedy the situation.

The Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) claims that it will take years to rectify the country’s pothole crisis; such is the extent of the UK’s backlog of road maintenance repair despite filling in 1.7 million potholes last year alone. The shortfall of funding runs into billions to tackle the issue, with the cost draining the pockets of the wider economy, not just those of the local authorities. Businesses and motorists are also feeling the pinch because of the rise in number of accidents, insurance and compensation claims, all due to the pothole infestation. Furthermore, traffic disruption through repairs, is delaying journey times and according to the AIA, the number of complaints from the public about road conditions escalated by 10% last year.

Local Transport Minister, Norman Baker, launched a Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme in 2011, which offers guidance and support to individuals involved in highways maintenance. Following on from that he recently announced a Review into potholes which details advice on how to effectively tackle the pothole problem.

The Review highlights three main areas:

Prevention is better than cure – intervening at the right time will reduce the amount of potholes forming and prevent bigger problems later.
Right first time – do it once and get it right, rather than face continuous bills. Guidance, knowledge and workmanship are the enablers to this.
Clarity for the public – local highway authorities need to communicate to the public what is being done and how it is being done.

The main aim of the Review is to help provide a high, consistent standard of service to highways users across the board thus reducing the financial strain on these stakeholders. It makes 17 recommendations which, if employed, will significantly improve the current situation by helping to decrease the number of potholes in the future.

Part of the report highlights the importance of using the correct repair materials and recommends the implementation of a ‘guidance on materials’ to ensure the use of ‘appropriate materials for the right site.’  This guide, to be compiled by members from the industry sector, will detail information on product performance, its flexibility and service life which will aid the user in selecting the right treatment for their application. This will allow work to be done correctly, first time round and improve the resilience of the highway network.

Long established and multi-award winning manufacturer of Highways Repair Solutions, Instarmac, through its Ultracrete brand, offers Pothole Repair solutions that are ideal for first time permanent repairs. Permanent Pothole Repair, a 3mm grade cold lay asphalt concrete, is suitable for both planned and reactive repairs in roads, driveways and car parks. It is the first pothole repair material to achieve HAPAS approval from the British Board of Agrément and is already used by local authorities across the country who agree, that it is the proven choice for reactive and planned maintenance that really lasts! The product is supplied in 25kg user friendly tubs which can be resealed, thus eliminating wastage and is ideal for sites with limited access. Used with Ultracrete SCJ Seal and Tack coat spray, the repair is permanent until such a time that complete resurfacing must take place.

For high performance emergency repairs in heavier trafficked locations, Ultracrete recommends the use of its Instant Road Repair, cold lay asphalt concrete. The material is available in two grades: 6mm for repairs to footways, footpaths and cycle tracks and 10mm for type 3 and 4 carriageways. Independently tested by the BBA, it too has HAPAS approval and has endured over 30 years of exhaustive trials, giving you the assurance associated with using a proven, established product.

Ultracrete’s pothole repair solutions are instantly traffickable - so no more long delays for motorists and traffic management can be kept to a minimum helping to lessen the financial strain on local authorities. More importantly they are solutions that actually work! When applied correctly, Ultracrete’s pothole repair materials breath life back into the road surface, they don’t spall, they can be applied in all weather conditions and they endure it! So even in harsh conditions, road repair can continue and disruption to the public can be managed more effectively.

As an advocator of best practice and product innovation within the highways maintenance sector, Instarmac fully supports the Review and its recommendations. It’s exactly what the industry needs, a clear, concise and definitive guide that all individuals within the highway maintenance sector can adopt to deliver first class service to highway users.

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