Although we have just begun the official Winter season, the weather has already dropped drastically. Parts of the UK have reached below -8°C before we’ve even entered December, meaning we have already had the coldest day in 6 years and have still got 2 months of Winter to go.
One big resulting factor of these conditions is the safety of our roads. Colder weather means slipperier roads, as well as increasing the chance of road damage, so it is crucial that the correct steps are taken to ensure everyone’s safety on the roads. Authorities Product Approval Scheme (HAPAS – for short) is a nationally recognised and respected scheme for innovative products and systems used in highway works. Developed in 1995, HAPAS certificates and reports have provided highway engineers with invaluable data on product performance.
Plans to prevent and tackle the problems our roads face this Winter have already been announced by multiple local councils around the UK, with Highways Industry reporting councillor Rob Humby (Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council) saying:
“Keeping Hampshire moving so people can get to work and school as usual, whatever the weather, is our priority. As we all know, heavy, intense rainfall can result in local flooding, and keeping the water off Hampshire’s 5,300 miles of roads is at the forefront of our highways work throughout the winter.”
This year, engineers are trialling new sensors in roadside gullies on some sections of road. They will automatically provide data on key factors which affect flooding on the roads, such as silt and water levels in the gullies and combine this information with weather forecasts.
“In this way, an inventory of each gully can be established which will show us when and where we need to direct resources.” Humby also mentioned.
Paul Anderson, Account Director for Amey road maintenance team, added:
“This is exciting, new technology which should enable us to be much more proactive in preventing gullies becoming flooded, as opposed to dealing with the issue in just a reactive way. We have installed 25 sensors in known ‘high risk’ gullies and are currently collecting information at these sites. If these sensors work as well as we hope, it could lead to a radically different approach in Hampshire and elsewhere.”
As well as this, funding has been announced by councils all over the country to go towards tackling road damage such as potholes, cracks, and general wear. The North East has been granted £3.9 million to repair 74,000 potholes in their area, and Cornwall alone almost £2 million to fix their roads.
The repairs are much-needed, as road damage is becoming a bigger and bigger issue, and people were left worried after there was little mention of funding road repairs in this year’s Autumn Statement. Highways Magazine reported Howard Robinson, chief executive of the Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA) as saying:
“Chancellor Philip Hammond has failed to address the fundamental issue facing the UK’s transport infrastructure – there is little point in making significant investments in headline projects if the roads that connect them are potholed and crumbling away.”
The statement included £1.1 billion to be spent on English local transport networks, with £220 million set aside for tackling pinch points on England’s motorways and major A-Roads, as well as £390m for further development of low emission vehicles (LEVs) and connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs).
Road Maintenance and repair is needed the most during the winter period due to the drastic weather change and damaging conditions. You can find out how Meon can help you maintain your Great Surfaces throughout this season by exploring our range of Magma products and solutions here.