Wet winter causes Britain's roads to collapse

Roshina Jowaheer
Wash-out winter causes Britain's roads to collapse
Wash-out winter causes Britain's roads to collapse

Road collapses in Hinksey Hill, Oxford. Rex

The record-breaking wet weather in Britain last year has resulted in roads deteriorating with an 'enormous increase' in potholes and a number of roads collapsing.

On Thursday, the Oxford Mail reported that a country road in Oxford had split exposing the earth beneath following heavy rainfall. Highway workers carried out emergency repairs on the road at Hinksey Hill but council spokesman Owen Morton said it would take 'months rather than weeks' to repair.

An expert predicted that it will cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to repair the damaged road.

Motorists are also forking out for repairs to their cars and paying more than £1 billion a year to rectify damages caused by cracks and pits in the roads.

According to the Daily Mail, an AA survey found last month that drivers and cyclists tackle an average of just over six potholes per mile.

AA's head of roads policy Paul Watters said: 'The wet weather has had a massive impact on our roads. Our patrols are reporting an enormous increase in the amount of potholes. The heavy rain will have aggravated those that are already there, and brought about new ones.

'But it will also have affected the substructure of the road - in some instances we have even seen the base of the road washed away.

'And it is still early days. Once we have freezing weather, we will see frost and ice causing further damage to the road surface.

Wet winter causes Britain's roads to collapse
Wet winter causes Britain's roads to collapse


'The full scale of the problem will only emerge in the next few months.'

The Asphalt Industry Alliance found last year that the number of potholes filled in England and Wales had nearly doubled in five years, to almost 1.7 million.

A spokesman told the Daily Mail: 'What we are hearing is that the extreme rain fall that we have experienced this year has had quite a devastating effect on the roads.

'We have seen huge areas of the country where the ground has been saturated, and this affects the foundations of the roads.

'It will certainly be expensive to repair and we would not be surprised to see increasing numbers of potholes and serious cracks as a result.'

Councils in south-west England said £20 million is needed to repair the damage to roads in the region following recent flooding. Taxpayers will pay an estimated £10 million for repairs in Devon, while in Cornwall repairs will cost an estimated £7 million.

Meanwhile in Scotland, a road in the Scottish Borders has been closed after a culvert collapsed beneath it causing traffic diversions, ITV.com reports.

Rob Dickinson, of Scottish Borders Council, said: 'The extremely wet conditions we have experienced over the last few months has clearly taken its toll on our local roads. This is another example of the type of damage caused by such heavy rain. This is a very challenging time but we continue to do all we can to carry out repairs as quickly as is possible.'

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