Official sponsors of National Pothole Day, UltraCrete, and ally, Mr Pothole (AKA Mark Morrell), are joining forces to drive a bright orange tank through London on National Pothole Day, 15 January 2020, to protest about the deficit in funding for road repairs.
Their mission is to draw attention to the current shortfall of funding needed to repair Britain’s ever increasing potholes, with the hope that more can be done to release funds and to help local authorities tackle this re-occurring national road crisis permanently.
As the UK heads into its annual pothole season, recent statistics paint a poor picture of the state of its roads. More than 700,000 new potholes were reported on the country’s highways during 2019, marking a 13% jump on the year before, according to data obtained by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). Whilst the Local Government Association reported that routine road maintenance budgets have fallen from £1.1 billion in 2009/10 to £701 million in 2017/18.
National road repair influencer, Mr Pothole, commented: ”Something really has to be done now, the pothole crisis is at breaking point – we are hoping our tank stunt will really drive the message home to the key funding decision makers, that more has to be spent on repairing Britain’s roads. Safety is a critical issue, but it is a question of economy too, councils and Highways England are paying out thousands a year on insurance claims and businesses are suffering due to increased delays on roads caused by potholes, manholes collapsing and even sink holes in some places, as a result of poor maintenance. We feel very strongly that highways authorities and the like shouldn’t be forced to ‘rob Peter to pay Paul’ to put these issues right.”
The planned event to coincide with National Pothole Day on 15 January, will be quite a spectacle, starting at 10.30am, the bright orange, Abbot self-propelled gun, will travel along London’s Embankment with Mr Pothole in a commanding position, aiming for an ETA to coincide with question time in parliament at Westminster.
Zoe Rees, Head of Sales for UltraCrete said: “Cash-strapped authorities and councils are really struggling to keep up with the ongoing costs associated with maintaining our road network, so it’s imperative the government recognises this. We really want to help maximise any funding authorities and councils may receive. We believe that with timely maintenance, independently approved, permanent materials and the correct training, much of the UK’s recurrent pothole issues can be tackled in a cost effective way. Raising awareness on the 15 January 2020 is the first step to working together with authorities and councils, with the aim to adopting long term workable solutions.”
To support the event in London, UltraCrete will also be providing an Awareness Day at their state of the art facility in the West Midlands on 14 January 2020. Local authorities are encouraged to come along to add to their arsenal of weapons in the mass destruction of potholes, with the opportunity to trial HAPAS and PTS PAS approved products for permanent, one off repairs, receive guidance on best practice, along with on the spot permanent repair training and a full tour of the ultra-modern Instarmac factory, with the opportunity to see the world famous UltraCrete products in production. If you work for a local authority or similar or are a member of the press and would like more details on attending this event, please forward your details to firstname.lastname@example.org