My Monday morning Jesus Wept has arrived on my screen courtesy of Olympic cyclist Victoria Pendleton:
Britain has a pothole crisis and the nation’s roads must be made safer, Olympic cyclist Victoria Pendleton has said.
Crisis? Is this on the same level as our obesity epidemic? I only ask because it must be important if an Olympic athlete is bopping their chops.
According to the latest figures, an average of around 10 potholes dot every mile of road in England and Wales, and the total number will pass two million for the first time this year.
If you're out there counting them, take some tarmac and a Whacker Plate with you and fill them in.
Cyclists are now being deterred from using their bikes because of poor road surfaces, Miss Pendleton said.
Well, every cloud and all that.
“Following more bad weather this winter, potholes are still a serious problem for road users, particularly people cycling to work or school, cycling for fun, keeping fit, or even cycling professionally,” she said.
“We have to make our roads safer and more accessible for cyclists who often lack confidence to ride their bikes in and around urban areas because of poor road surfaces.”
Then pay some road tax.
Her comments follow warnings that councils will struggle to repair potholes because of a £165 million shortfall in funding.
The Local Government Association, which represents around 350 councils, said highways departments will be hit by cuts as they begin to survey the damage exacerbated by the worst December weather in a century.
I don't want excuses. Fix the potholes.
According to the Asphalt Industry Alliance, every mile of local authority-owned road in England and Wales will have 10 potholes. The organisation, which produces a yearly report on the roads, said the number of potholes could reach two million by the spring.
Special interest group ahoy!
“This is a very serious issue. Cyclists and motorcyclists are the road users most vulnerable to accidents caused by potholes,” the alliance’s Helen Melhuish said. “If central government provided more funding to help get local roads back into reasonable condition, local authorities would be better able to implement their planned preventative maintenance programmes, rather than wasting already stretched funds on reactively filling potholes.”
What’s with this pandering to cyclists rhetoric?
“Miss Pendleton, 30, is supporting an awards scheme to judge UK councils on repairs to potholes which occur when water repeatedly freezes and expands in cracks in the road. She said: “I’m getting involved because anything that showcases pothole repairs and encourages councils to improve their roads has to be a good thing for both cyclists and motorists.”
Yeah, because target led bureaucracy has worked so very well in every other aspect of public services.
Jesus wept, what's the problem here? Duty on fuel brings in more money than any other commodity. Use that money where it's supposed to be used and tell the cyclists to put their hands in their pockets if they want to have an opinion on the roads. As per usual, this falls under the heading of "Things that should not need explaining". We pay tax upon tax upon tax so that certain things are taken care of.
Rubbish collection, water supply, roads, policing, health care, education.
These things do not need endorsement by celebrities. They are basic services that should be provided at a standard level because we bloody well pay for them, with the threat of jail if we don't. Get the basics right, we're not asking much.