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Fuelcard Blog Updates: Pothole or ‘soup-hole’?

An announcement by the Highways Agency this week caused a strange mixture of amusement and upset in The Fuelcard Company office.  This was regarding a change in the rules about potholes in the road, classifying anything ‘smaller than a soup bowl’ as ‘not urgent for repair’. We’re familiar with foggy driving conditions resembling pea soup, but now we have to worry about soup bowls too! Crazy times…

But, hang on, just so we’re on the same page, have government agencies suddenly started comparing potholes, which cost the country £430 million a year in damage, to crockery? Yes? Just checking.

Previously, contractors were required to repair any road defects within 24 hours of reporting, however this new legislation states that any pothole 15cm in width will not have to be immediately repaired. These new rules are already in place on minor roads in the UK and will be fully implemented on motorways and trunk roads by 2015.

One clever Twitter user wise-cracked that this was the soup bowl the Highways Agency was using to set the standard!

We agree with the IAM director of policy Neil Greig, who said: “This just seems to be storing up larger repair bills for the future. All large potholes start off as small potholes – it’s easier and cheaper to fix them early and reduce the risk to road users.”

Only recently, Confused.com launched a petition urging the Government to introduce a new road sign to warn drivers of potholes in the road. If introduced, the sign would contain an image of a car with one wheel down a hole, with the traditional red triangular border. If the Highways Agency is now quantifying potholes based on items generally found on our dinner-table, why not replace the image of the stricken car with that of a soup bowl?
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