Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Britons living in ‘pothole capital’ envy road where giant hole fixed in days

Residents of the UK’s so-called “pothole capital” have shared their envy at a road where a gigantic crack was fixed in just six days. Before and after pictures of a 5ft-wide crevice on a Japanese road that was quickly fixed by maintenance workers have resurfaced online, sparking many Britons frustrated about their poorly kept roads to lash out. Alexey Nikitin, a Glasgow local who reshared the pictures on Facebook, said: “In Glasgow it would take a few years to repair it (and it will fall apart in few weeks after reopening).”

Last month, road repair specialist Mr Pothole, Mark Morrell, dubbed Glasgow the “pothole capital”. He said Glasgow takes the title because of the sheer number of alleged “lethal potholes”.

Thousands of Glaswegians are part of a Facebook group called Potholes Make Glasgow. In the group, potholes are reported daily.

Some in the group make fun of poor road maintenance, posting memes, while others air their serious concerns about the state of the road and warn others of the potholes.

In response to the photograph Nikitin published in the group, one user called Thomas Cook joked: “That’s just a small pothole, some in Glasgow are that deep they have their own postcode”.

Another quipped: “The council here would just stick a sign up saying temporary road surface.”

The photographs show the damage from a magnitude 9 earthquake in 2011 that struck The Great Kanto Highway in Naka, one of the main roads leading to Tokyo. 

Less than a week after doing work on the road, the highway company Nexco East restored the surfaces to pristine condition. 

It’s a sharp contrast to the months and years that Britons have to wait for large road projects. 

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It is estimated by The Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance Survey (ALARM) the UK now has a road maintenance backlog amounting to over £14billion, which has risen from less than £4billion in the year 2000.

Explaining why he gave Glasgow the title of Pothole Capital, Mark Morrell said the area is riddled with dangerous potholes that expose ironworks, such as the corners of sewer or drainage covers.

He said: “They’re a risk to tires. Because of sharp bits of metal. Some of the photographs in that area would rip your tire to shreds if you’re a cyclist.”

Speaking around the time of the Japanese road repair, the AA suggested the Japanese road repair was only possible because the crew had no concerns about diverting traffic or obtaining planning permission or restricting noise pollution. 

Andrew Howard, the AA’s head of road safety said at the time: “I think that although it is a phenomenal job and done remarkably quickly, it is probably more accurate to compare the work to that of the Royal Engineers rather than a civil road-building project.”

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