British motorists are witnessing dire travelling conditions due to the poor maintenance of roads. Whilst there is likely a hierarchy of blame, it is down to the government to force a change of both policy and funding for this specific area – since local councils are failing to address the problems.
The arrival of the storm named; The Beast from the East turned bad roads into appalling roads. This is due to freezing conditions opening and widening potholes. As is often reported, the UK just isn’t prepared for the chaos a storm can generate – quite surprising since we live on an island within a world that is undergoing ‘climate change’.
It is easy to shuffle the blame from cash-strapped departments, from one to another. However, the reality is clear; a pothole repair costs between £35 and £55. Of course, this shouldn’t be seen as a ‘one-off cost’. A fixed pothole can later re-open. I do believe that those responsible are simply waiting for the winter season to pass, to then conduct mass road improvements. Whilst I understand the thinking behind this, it is an approach littered with faults.
Travelling over a pothole can cause harm to both a person and vehicle. It is for this very reason that concerns should be raised. Philip Hammond’s latest input did nothing to install faith into the masses suffering as a result of the poor road conditions. What’s more, British citizens are very aware of the roads they travel on, it’s a part of their everyday lives – so it makes sense that the government would appear to be acting within this very area.
My vehicle became a victim of the pothole dilemma, little did I know that my suspension took a hit that would deem my vehicle undrivable. After hearing a huge snapping ‘themed’ noise, earlier followed by strange ‘clunky’ noises from the wheel arch, I knew something serious had happened.
Breakdown services are not able to deal with the chaos
I immediately dialled my breakdown cover, RAC. It was my first time testing this company, since my previous experiences were with Greenflag, of which were more than positive. Some would ask why I bothered to switch, and it ultimately boiled down to believing the RAC had a breakdown team that could generally repair a vehicle on-the-spot.
You expect a breakdown provider to answer, well, fairly quickly. After all, it could be a life-or-death situation. Just as you dial the police, fire, or ambulance service – calling out to a breakdown should be greeted with the same severity. Sadly, I was one of the many to experience a 1-hour delay (brilliant if you have 20% smartphone battery), before I was able to speak to a call-center operator. The call-line continually played a rolling message, of which included something to the effect of “The weather is causing huge delays”.
I wasn’t ready to vent my anger at the call-answerer, since it wasn’t their fault – they were just hired by a company that failed to expect such a situation (which is very surprising). I was, however, angry at the very situation I was facing.
At least I’d got through to a call-handler, someone who could dispatch a mechanic to my location. Though, my hope was immediately dashed when I heard the expected time allocation to reach me was 3-4 hours. As you can imagine, I was completely shocked. After close to one hour on the phone, I was then told to expect another three hours wait.
After the promised 4 Hours had passed, and there was no sign of any help, I once again called the hotline. Thankfully, I had a charged phone, otherwise, I might have been left alone – since your first port of call after breaking down is, well, your breakdown provider.
I cannot vouch for this, but I do believe the majority of breakdown services were struggling due to the aftermath of the storm (it appears so). However, I strongly refute this as an excuse. A breakdown service SHOULD expect a storm in the UK, one that might create an issue for the drivers involved. It is called preparation.
Let’s also remember, this is 1 week AFTER the storm exited the UK. Talk about a ‘Ripple Effect’.
I was later contacted by the management team at RAC, they apologised for the situation – suggesting that the weather was to blame. After relating on an empathic level, I then reminded the management team of how many people this disastrous scenario could have harmed.
Clearly, the UK isn’t prepared for a winter-storm, and I suggest that we strongly have a structure in place for such events – that includes at government level and businesses such as breakdown services.