Potholes are a blight on our roads but who is responsible for attending to their repair?
Highways England are commonly cited as failing drivers; of ignoring these potentially life-threatening scars on carriageways. Whilst ultimately Highways England are responsible for much of our road network, they have subcontracted maintenance to a variety of construction companies. For example our motorways are divided into areas and each month the relevant contractor receives a lump sum payment for maintaining the roads under their care. A Freedom of Information Act application it revealed not only the lump sum payments but also the lump sum duties:
- the FoIA request can be read by clicking here
- the Lumpsum Duties & Payments can be viewed as an excel document by click here. (01/08/2016):
Why would there be potholes on motorways, a contractor has been pair to address such issues? Indeed with regard to Kier Highways Limited between mid-2014 and the end of 2015 we argue that they were paid twice! ‘Asset Inspection Watchman’ (AIW’s), the staff tasked with pot hole repairs, gully clearing, debris picking etc., were not only paid for under the lump sum amounts, they were also charged to drivers fleets and insurers, the latter paying 100% of AIW costs.
Today these AIW’s are charged to drivers fleets and insurers at more than twice what they apparently cost, at more than twice what they are charged to Highways England. This despite despite a contract which indicates the difference between charge to Highways England and Third Parties should be no more than 15%.
As for repairs to our minor roads these apparently cost about £40* per hole to remedy. However, on occasions the approach is clearly casual fast and cheap – click here.
BBC – 28/03/2017 – Potholes ‘the talk of the canteen’ – click here
*source – click here – debris clearance ‘At £40 per bag – roughly the same cost as fixing a pothole ...’