There was much excitement in the Town Mouse household when a council lorry appeared on the road outside.

‘I think they might be coming to mend the potholes’ the other half said.

‘They can’t do that! I haven’t taken any pictures of them yet!’

This is the problem with not having a working camera. I’ve been meaning for ages to post about how the melting of the snow and ice has revealed that there are places on our road which are now more pothole than anything else. There’s one outside our front gate that you could lose a bus in (if it wasn’t so shallow), and another one on the back road to Bigtown that’s so nasty someone has stuck a traffic cone into it. There are junctions which are just basically rubble and even where there are no actual potholes, parts of the road have cracked right along the centre of the tarmac which does not bode well for the rest of the year. But I’ve been putting it off until I could illustrate it because otherwise you’d probably never believe me, especially about the bus part.*

As it happens, our excitement was a little premature. Yes they’d come to mend the potholes but it would appear they hadn’t brought enough tarmac to fill the bus-sized one so they half filled it and disappeared. My bike ride down for the paper revealed that they’d been doing a similar job all the way to the village – a rough splodge of tarmac into each of the worst offenders, looking as though the repair had been done by those people who come and offer to tarmac your drive for you (or else some enthusiastic but largely unskilled members of the Big Society). In many places, the ‘repair’ has been done over and over again (including the – actually surprisingly long-lasting – efforts of the Big Yellow Road Mending Machine). I know nothing about road mending, or councils, so I have to assume that this isn’t the enormous waste of money that it appears to be. Presumably it either slows down the deterioration in the road surface long enough for them to get round to fixing it properly, or it at least keeps the claims for damages to tyres and wheels down to a reasonable level.

So anyway, the good news is that I can cycle a little bit more securely in the dark, at least until the next time it rains, and what’s more, the chances are that by the time I get my camera sorted out, the potholes will still be with us so you can see them in all their glory. And then you’ll have to believe me about the bus.

*all right, a very small bus. But then our buses are quite small.

11 Responses to Potholing

  1. Paul says:

    Coincidentally, on the other side of the country, our fillers have also been at work over the last two days.

    Many locals complain about the Jim Clark Rally, but I’m sure that being on a special stage helps to get the road fixed at this time of year.

  2. disgruntled says:

    was it two men with a shovel, or do you get an actual decent repair job for the rally?

  3. Dom says:

    There’s an app for reporting potholes… but that would require a smartphone 🙂

  4. disgruntled says:

    There’s a website too, but it would require more time than I’ve got available to list them all… (I note that most people in the region have solved the problem by simply reporting ‘lots of potholes’ for some roads)

  5. WOL says:

    Potholes are a problem here, too. It’s a pity most cars don’t use hubcaps any more, or I could have acquired quite a large collection of them by hanging out near the one at the end of our street.

  6. Sarah says:

    New potholes every day here. And the same method of ‘fixing’ them with a roughly aimed shovel of bitumen based substance.

  7. disgruntled says:

    WOL – when we lived in Tanzania every really large pothole used to have a gang of children industriously making it larger so they could get paid for helping to push stuck cars out. I’m sure their hubcap collections were huge…
    Sarah – please tell me it’s just a temporary measure & not the actual repair

  8. Paul says:

    Two men and a shovel are called SBlocal and do the side roads. The rally road fixers have a proper lorry.

  9. […] about road repairs) but actually made you sit through a whole blog post about it (and not for the first time, either). For those of you still reading, here’s a bonus photograph to […]

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