One big problem Shropshire Council has is that it doesn’t know the age of its roads!
£5m chopped out of roads in 2018/19 and 2019/20
Queens Head Pothole is dangerous
Fast forward 9 years and look at how the pothole has grown!
So I went to have another look a few days later and recorded the above video on the 22nd of March.
Traffic volumes 2000-2016
(2017 data gets added in May/June 2018)
Cars and particularly Vans are trending upwards at an accelerating rate, whilst HGVs are ticking down.
Excluding the cars shows the upward trend in LGV or Vans. HGVs are trending down but there is a small uptick in 2015-16.
Drilling into the HGVs a bit further… HGV with bigger axel numbers are increasing…
Excluding the 2 axle and 3/4 axle articulated lorries we can see that the trend is clearly up for HGVs with the workload of the former now done by Vans
Overall this shows is the impact of online shopping on journeys and supports what we all know – that retail shops are under severe pressure and that Royal mail delivers many more parcels and fewer letters as more shopping is done online.
What that means for Whittington and beyond is worse roads for years to come unless something dramatic happens. Unlikely without a change at local and national level. More expenditure that is out of control and more costly insurance claims.
Pothole insurance claims:
- 2013/14 188 pothole claims. 25 claims against Highways insurance amounted to £31,000.
- 2015/16 There were 46 injuries caused by potholes and they paid out £20,721.50 on 6 of those claims.
- 2016/2017 182 Pothole claims, 11 of which they accepted liability and paid out over £20,000.
General wear and tear on roads from increased axle weight, increased traffic volumes, combined with adverse weather conditions – be that too hot or too cold leading to binding tar drying out with age, can all lead to tiny fissures forming in a road surface.
Water penetrated into the surface and freezes. This pushes up the road surface in cold weather. Once this thaws the void below collapse the road when traffic drives across the voids and fissures. Over time the road crumbles or collapses into the voids producing the pothole – initially quite small. Successively this process continues and the hole progressively gets bigger. Once a weakness has formed as standing water in it will explode outwards under compression by a tyre further accelerating the growth of the hole through explosive percussion. Once the pothole is formed the surface with be loose and present a skidding risk as well as a hazard for all road users.