This blog is mainly about the governance and future of policing and crime services. (Police & Crime Commissioners feature quite a lot.) But there are also posts about the wider justice system. And because I am town councillor and political activist, local & national issues are covered a little, as well.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pot holes!

Yes I know, not the usual content to this blog. But I wanted to document & record an idea I have had to solve the pothole crisis. Not being a road engineer, this idea may have been tried before and found to not be worthwhile... or maybe not!

So here is the idea in a nutshell: firms that dig up roads (or even repair them) should be financially incentivised to do an effective and long lasting job. They should be penalised if a pot hole forms around the work they did a few years previous.

All you have to do is look carefully at potholes. In my experience they rarely form out of nowhere. Almost always the small fissure that becomes a big hole starts at the seam between the original road surface and a new piece of tarmac. My view is that just like new houses and cars come with warranties, then so should repairs to / fillings in roads.

The scheme would work like this: any contractor who digs of roads would have to partake in an independent (actuarially based) warranty scheme. When their road repair / change is completed, they must inform the local road authority of the work they have done and each one would be allocated a special reference warranty number. If a pothole forms within (say) the next seven years, the warranty would kick in and would pay for the repair to the road at no cost to the local taxpayer. The new repair would be covered by the same warranty system, of course.

The contractors, individually and collectively, would have a financial interest in performing long lasting jobs as this would keep warranty costs down. They might even invest in new & better ways to repair roads!

What do you think? Is this a viable system? I am interested in your views...

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