'Bad repair methods are the real cause of potholes'
BRIAN Whitelocks, of Vaughan Avenue, Hucknall, said: "Potholes in roads are a major topic and the frosty weather we have been having gets the blame.
"Yes, frost helps the creation of some of the potholes but it is not the cause. Potholes are caused by bad repair methods and poor workmanship. There are thousands of miles of well-made roads that are subjected to frost but do not break up.
"It is when they are subjected to damage, allowing water to penetrate, that frost plays its part in crumbling up the tarmac. If roads are properly constructed and properly repaired, this would not happen.
"Damage is caused in many ways, for example by not being properly compacted when a new surface is laid; poor repair when services (water, gas, electricity etc) dig up the road; the edges of minor roads with no kerb get broken when vehicles (particularly heavy goods) drive on the edge; heavy vehicles with multi-axles tear the surface as their wheels skew when going round corners and their wheels judder when braking; and subsidence.
"The majority of repairs are poorly carried out by simply pouring tarmac into the pothole and compacting it – often only by hand. Within a few months they start to crumble, frost or no frost.
"Whereas, if they are properly repaired by cutting out a section, mechanically compacting the sub-structure and inserted tarmac, and then sealing the surrounding road surface, it would prevent penetration of water, and thus frost damage, as good as a newly-constructed road.
"Obviously, the repair would be more costly but far more lasting and so save cost in the long run. Also, the roads would be much safer and less damaging to vehicles. Roads with potholes are very dangerous for motorcyclists and cyclists, particularly when it is dark. So why do we still get botch-job repairs done?
"I believe that the increase in potholes is due to the vast number of heavy goods vehicles on our roads. This is noticeable as you drive in different areas of the country. In rural areas and less industrial areas, where there are less heavy goods vehicles, the roads do not suffer so much damage."