It’s all very well wanting to have nice flat roads to drive on, but, as everyone now accepts, there’s no money left to lavish on such luxuries. We’ll all just have to get used to tightening our belts, repairing our suspension more often at an average £350 a pop, and veering about crazily to avoid the deeper dips in Britain’s pitted and cratered tarmac.

In the face of enforced fiscal strictures, the Highways Agency has decided to stop being so uptight about the whole issue of holes. Current legislation requires even minor fissures to be fixed immediately. But now, starting with the West Country and going national by 2015, the HA has decreed there’s no need to infill potholes unless they’re at least 15cm across and 4cm deep.

Oddly, not everyone’s convinced that this is a good idea. With pothole-induced vehicle repairs already costing an estimated £0.5 billion per year, there have even been suggestions this could ultimately prove a false economy. The Asphalt Industry Alliance, for example, has come out strongly against the move.

The Motor Vehicle Repairers’ League, however, reluctantly concludes that Britain can no longer afford the luxury of road repairs and should take a page out of the books of countries like Borneo and Malawi where drivers are perfectly sanguine about the odd uneven road surface.


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