Lorries kitted out with HD cameras in pothole detection trial
The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced that high-definition cameras will be fitted to bin lorries in a new trial designed to detect future potholes.
The trial forms part of a major investment in local roads and it should allow the lorries to spot road surface problems which can be treated before they become potholes.
The DfT claimed the system, which is being trialled by councils in York and Thurrock, Essex, could “revolutionise the way potholes are identified and managed”.
Some £1.2bn to improve roads, cut congestion and improve journey times has been allocated to councils across England for 2017/18.
As part of the funding, the Government is to support a new M11 junction near Harlow, Essex, in conjunction with a project to build 15,000 homes.
Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “Roads play a significant part in everyday life, linking people with jobs and businesses with customers, which is why this Government is investing record amounts improving and maintaining highways across the country to help motorists.
“The funding we have allocated today is focused on relieving congestion and providing important upgrades to ensure our roads are fit for the future.”
Recent analysis by the Local Government Association (LGA) showed the bill for repairing roads in England and Wales could reach £14bn within two years.
LGA transport spokesman Martin Tett said: “Funding for roads maintenance is desperately needed and the money announced today will help councils tackle some of the growing repair backlog and congestion they face on local roads.
“It is only fair for taxpayers that spending decisions are made by councils who work much closer to and better understand the needs of the people and places they serve.
“However, substantially more funding is needed to bring our roads up to scratch.”
As well as having the potential to cause accidents, potholes can cause damage to vehicles that drive over them.
Last year, Ford constructed a 1.2 mile long pothole-filled test track in order to test its vehicles in real road conditions.