Self Repairing Roads To Combat Potholes

Friday, 26. May 2017

Hi, Graham Hill here, thank you so much for visiting my blog, I hope you learn a lot and as a result end up driving a great car. In order to do so you can get all the information you need by buying my book, An Insider Guide To Car Finance or use me to finance your next car. Happy driving.

According to the RAC pothole related breakdowns were up by 63% over the last year. Between January and March this year breakdown patrols helped 6,500 drivers who were in trouble due to poor road conditions. The problems ranged from punctures and broken suspension through to distorted wheels.


So I was interested to read that researchers at Delft University in the Netherlands may have the answer. They have come up with a self-repairing Asphalt. Normal Asphalt is made to be porous in order to reduce road noise, but the pores allow cracks to build up and eventually turn into a potholes. In order to overcome this the clever people at Delft have come up with the idea of mixing in steel wool into the asphalt.


The steel wool makes the mix conductive to electricity. So if a crack appears a magnetic induction machine is rolled over the surface to heat the mixture that will close the cracks before they become potholes. This system has been under test since 2010 on 12 Dutch roads with none of them requiring any more repairs. The Asphalt mix costs around 25% more but they say the new mix could double the life cycle of roads saving money in the long run.


Personally I have yet to be convinced as firstly they have to identify the cracked roads very early on, then they need to tow to the site a special induction machine on wheels that then sends a current through the wool to heat up the Asphalt. And once a pothole appears you are back to a man with a shovel and a heavy boot to repair it. Let’s face it if we had the ‘crack warning’ early enough and the resources we could dispatch the man with his shovel to fix it just as quick and more cheaply. But what do I know? By Graham Hill

Staggering Cost Of Cleaning Up Our Roads

Friday, 23. September 2016

Could we see a new use for dash cams? It has cost tax payers a staggering £14.5 million to clear rubbish from our roads over the last 3 years. According to the Highways Agency 364,000 bags of rubbish have been collected at an average cost of £40 per bag.

That’s 333 sacks of litter collected every day from the 4,300 miles of Strategic Road Network. This is rubbish simply tossed out of cars by thoughtless drivers and passengers. This cost could have gone some way towards repairing thousands of potholes that are a serious danger to motorists and cyclists.

The Canadians came up with an app that you could use to report illegal parking to the local authority and receive payment for reporting it after the driver was fined. We could do the same with litter louts, record them chucking litter out of their vehicle windows, forward to the police who then issue a fixed penaty and you receive part of that fine for carrying out your duty as a concerned member of the public.

Nice little earner and would help to keep our streets cleaner. If you are one of those culprits, keep a bag in the car and put your rubbish in it then dispose of properly when you get home. By Graham Hill

Plans To Vary And Even Remove Roadwork Speed Limits

Sunday, 4. May 2014

I hope, like me, you understand the need to cone off road works on motorways for the safety of those who work on the roads. I don’t even mind the mile or so of cones, aimed at slowing down the drivers before the actual road works begin, having read some absolute horror stories of workers, killed or maimed by drivers trying to jump one extra place on the road before being forced over by one lane.

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Having had the misfortune of having a flat tyre on a motorway and being forced to stop on the hard shoulder whilst cars and trucks come pounding past, even at 70mph, made for one of the most frightening experiences in my many years of driving. So I understand the need for worker safety but when I start throwing toys out of the pram is when I am travelling along the long stretch of M25 restricted to 50mph followed by a long stretch of A23 at the end of the M23 restricted to 40mph when there is no bugger working. In fact I am often, at 3.00 in the morning, the only driver for miles but I still have to stick to the road work restrictions for fear that the average speed cameras report me for doing 10mph over the restricted speed.

Even when I’m convinced that the cameras aren’t able of taking pictures or measuring your average speed at night. Having suffered these constraints for a couple of years already I was very pleased to see that the Highways Agency were considering introducing variable speed limits on sections of motorways being worked upon.

English: Road works This is a road works at th...

English: Road works This is a road works at this location, in time for summer driving. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The new average speed limits would be assessed on a case by case basis but it is expected that limits could be raised at off peak times and times when no one was working on the restricted section of road. About bloody time! By Graham Hill

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Is It Time To Increase Speed Limits Asks Graham Hill

Saturday, 3. May 2014

We are back onto speed limits. A new study, carried out in Denmark over the last 2 years by the Danish Road Directorate, has concluded that higher speed limits on not just motorways but also single carriageway rural roads makes roads safer and saves lives.

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They increased the limits on rural roads from 50mph to 56mph which resulted in fewer accidents. Slower drivers were observed to drive faster and faster drivers actually dropped their speed by 1mph. This resulted in less frustration and less overtaking as the differential between the fastest and slowest drivers decreased.

On sections of their motorways where speed limits were increased from 68mph to 80mph 9 years ago fatalities also dropped. The Alliance of British Drivers suggested that the latest moves by the Government to restrict speed limits further could be a step in the wrong direction following these findings.

A spokesperson for the Transport Research Laboratory was a little more cautious and said that the findings were ‘interesting’ but was more interested in the risk of injury rather than the risk of a crash which is what the report focused upon.

I can see the argument for higher speed limits on motorways, certainly after certain times at night when there are fewer cars on the road but not sure about single carriageway rural roads. It will be interesting to see if the Government takes this up. By Graham Hill

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Ridiculous New Rules Applied To Pot Hole Repairs

Saturday, 3. September 2011


Image via Wikipedia

As I write this item we’re into the first day of the new registration and the first day of autumn, not that you’d notice after a terrible summer. But already I am reading about impending pot hole problems this winter, set to get worse after a Highways Agency rule change. The warning raised by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) highlighted the rules Read more

Motorists Travelling Fewer Miles Than 10 Years Ago

Sunday, 6. March 2011

The logo of the Department for Transport

Image via Wikipedia

Drivers are travelling less miles according to figures issued by the Department for Transport for 2010. Provisional figures show that vehicle use is down by 3.3% since 2007 which means that we drove a massive 8.3 billion miles less last year. From 1993 to 2007 car use continued to rise peaking at 251 billion miles in 2007. However, 2010’s total of 242 billion car miles means that we are back to 2002 levels. If you include in the figures all vehicle types the total is 306.6 billion miles in 2010, also Read more

UK Roads Deteriorate Further Costing Motorists

Sunday, 27. February 2011

The logo of the Department for Transport

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Following on from the news that windscreen replacement company, Auto Windscreens, has gone into liquidation we hear that our roads are in the worst condition ever, despite an extra £600 million being spent on them last year. The information regarding the condition of our roads comes in a report called the Highways Condition Index (HCI) released by the Department for Transport. The report shows that only 68% of the roads were classified as ‘Good’ whilst 26% were ‘Reasonable’ and 6% were Read more

New Super Salt Will Tackle Extreme Road Conditions

Thursday, 24. February 2011

Magnesium chloride

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Back down to earth a new road salt has been created to work in temperatures as low as -20 degrees Celsius and has received the thumbs up for use on Scottish roads. The road salt comes in liquid form like a de-icer, a mix of salt and magnesium chloride. It has proven effective at melting hard packed snow and ice in extreme cold. Regular salt only works down to -8 deg C. They are building up reserves at key motorway sites but there is a bit of a downside. The so-called Supersalt costs 12 times as Read more

New Attitude By New Government Removes Motorists’ Irritation

Monday, 25. October 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 08:  Conservative MP...
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If you ever drive into London along the M4 past Heathrow you will know only too well the frustration of sitting in a queue of traffic whilst the red bus lane is empty waiting for the odd taxi or bus to come zooming by. Of course if you dare to put a wheel into the bus lane a million cameras will provide the evidence necessary for you to receive a hefty fine. If this causes you frustration I have some good news for you Read more

Prepare For A Road Up Near You Soon

Friday, 22. October 2010

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson poses for a pho...
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You’ll probably be pleased to hear that over the next 10 years there’s going to be a £32 billion programme of replacing ageing electricity cables and gas pipes across the UK. As a result the AA has proposed that the utility firms should be charged the moment they start digging up roads as a sort of lane rental in order to speed up the work and limit the inconvenience to road users. Edmund King, president of the AA said, ‘Governments have procrastinated for a quarter of a century. With £32 billion Read more