Daily Mail

What can be done about the scourge of potholes?


CAN I join the Mail’s excellent campaign to rid our country of potholes? I’d like to point out what causes them.

We used to trim roadside hedges with a billhook, bowsaw and slasher, then a fork to clear up the trimmings. Now it’s done by a machine called a bushwhacke­r, mounted on a tractor. As its name implies, this fast-revolving drum of blunt hammers smashes the hedge into shape. All the debris ends up in the ditch.

This means the ditches are no longer able to absorb water from the road. Standing water is a major cause of potholes.

The people who mend potholes call it black gold because they know they will be back to do it again shortly. More than 1,000 years ago, the Romans taught us how to build a road. Elevate it over boggy ground, make it straight and keep it dry by the use of drainage. Sadly, we appear to have forgotten that.

ALAN ADCOCK, Chelmsford, Essex.

THE potholes in my village street were recently patched up. Less than a week later, the repair is crumbling. All we need is a good frost and that will finish them. The streets in and out of a nearby town have such deep potholes that drivers adopt a slalom approach to avoid them. This is all very well, but cyclists have to share the same narrow roads. Will you damage your vehicle by hitting the potholes or have an accident while trying to miss them? How much is a life worth? Obviously a lot less than resurfacin­g the roads! It is a false economy to patch up these dangerous areas occasional­ly rather than resurface them properly.

Mrs DOROTHY DOBSON, Beccles, Suffolk.

HAVE we lost the skill to mend potholes or repair the damage when the utilities have dug up the roads? Roadmen used to carry a can of hot tar to seal where the new repair met the old part of the road. A new gas main was recently installed in my road, but none of the strips of replacemen­t Tarmac were sealed to the old and now there is a deep groove where the two halves meet.

RALPH TAYLOR, Cullompton, Devon.

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