THERE has been a pothole crisis this year. Delayed maintenance to cut budgets in the name of austerity have taken their toll and emergency work has been needed. Where it didn't happen in time vehicles have been damaged, riders spilled into the road and vast amounts of time, money and materials wasted. Not to mention human lives.
And it is going to get much, much worse. Why? Let me explain and offer a few images to help.
Seen a lot of these Road Closed signs lately? Indeed you have because BT and many of its competitors have been putting fibre in the ground. This will provide superfast broadband internet access across the nation, in hamlets, in villages, in remote farms. Everywhere.
The new Conservative Government promised it. They would of course since it represents an opportunity to make money for all their rich chums and themselves.
And so the great roll out has been gathering pace throughout the pandemic, and all in the name of 'content'.
And what is that? Well you have had it for years but now you can get it delivered to your very own 'device' (what happened to computers?) at lightning speed. It's movies and stuff. All you have to do is pay for it – and put up with road closures and damaged streets and footpaths.
Oh, and potholes. Lots and lots of potholes.
You see when you dig up anything you damage the surface. A lot. And unless you are very careful when you restore it water can seep into the edges. Then, in Britain and other northern territories, that water will freeze. Water expands when it freezes. Water is NOT compressible (unlike the air we breathe) so guess what? It breaks open the repaired road and traffic then rips up the now loose tarmac. Pot hole. Untended it gets bigger daily. And deeper.
So I predict that soon after Christmas we will start to see ever more and even bigger than ever potholes opening up along all the badly finished off trenches that have been dug to stick in a really very thin (50mmm tops) tube and then to dig up the road to millions of homes and offices to install similar 'service' pipes to deliver the brave new world of lightning fast stuff to you home or office.
A lot of this will have been done by 'stitching' – a technique invented yonks ago in my British Gas days to make two holes 20/40/60 metres apart and thread the gas/water/electric pipes from one hole to the next. Fewer holes, fewer risks of potholes. But back then these repairs were inspected and woe betide the team that did a bodge job. Ever seen an inspector these days? Private sector see; so good they don't need checking 'cos it damages profitability (oh yeah!?). So does doing a proper job.
Sorry to be a bearer of bad tidings because of course, it will be you who has to pay for all the repairs. Still, think how quick it will be using your high speed broadband connection to make the council tax payments.