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25 January 2010

Big freeze leaves UK roads in tatters

The aftermath of the worst winter for more than 25 years has left Britain’s roads in tatters with the number of potholes increasing by the day.

Autoglass has reported record numbers of calls, as a direct result of windscreens cracking because of the pressure they’re being put under by appalling road surfaces, and loose tarmac chipping screens.  A website has even been set up to allow motorists to report new potholes and find out what is being done to tackle the problem –

Nigel Doggett, Managing Director of Autoglass explained: “Britain’s roads are in the worst state they have been for years because of freezing snow and ice taking its toll. At the last count, following the big freeze in February 2009, there were 1.5 million pot holes on Britain’s roads. According to the Met Office, this winter has been the worst for more than 25 years, which means we’re potentially looking at thousands more pot holes, and ever-deteriorating road conditions.  During the past week, we’ve taken thousands of calls reporting damaged windscreens as a result of the poor road surfaces.

“Potholes are exacerbated by cold weather as water expands and freezes to form ice, putting additional pressure on the cracks in the surface. Once a pothole has formed, it continues to grow through further chunks and chippings being worked free by traffic.

“Ultimately, this has culminated in increased damage to windscreens – firstly as a result of those loose chippings leaving the road surface and hitting windscreens forming a chip, and secondly, when existing chips in windscreens are put under excessive pressure due to sustained and repeated travel over uneven surfaces. That, over time, will cause a chip to crack.

“To try and prevent damage to vehicles, we’re advising motorists to be extra vigilant and slow down if they spot potholes on the roads.”




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