What is the true cost of closing Britain’s roads for maintenance?
We all groan when we hit a stretch of motorway that is being widened, finding ourselves changing down to 50mph and squeezed into narrow lanes sandwiched between hustling lorries and corralled between out-of-kilter road markings. Yet knowing there is an ultimate sense of purpose, that these works are developmental and in the name of progress, enabling us in the future to get to where we are going more seamlessly, allows us to tolerate them. They are part of a journey the cost of which will result in a benefit to us, the motorist, the road user. And we accept that.
So why is it different when we find ourselves held up, backing up in traffic snaking back as far as the rearview mirror will let us see with the overhead gantries flashing red x lane closures at us? The men at work warning signs fill us with dread miles before the cones and cordons even start. Because there is something unnecessary, something failed, something downright inconvenient about reactive maintenance, that’s why. And when this impacts your commute, it impacts your day from start to finish, from worrying about being late for work, to being late for work, to being on the backfoot throughout an entire day and then facing a long, slow drive home at the end of the day as well. We might blame work for our rising stress levels but how much of it is actually down to the quality of our commute?
32 hours per year stuck in traffic jams
While we may all be aware of the financial cost of closing our roads for maintenance, we may not all be aware of the hidden cost to our personal well-being. According to traffic data and a recent report, British drivers spend an average of 32 hours per year stuck in traffic jams and road closures, with London drivers being hit the worst and averaging 66 hours a year going nowhere fast. These are hours that are best spent getting where you are going on time, or spending it with your family.
Driving can be stressful as it is, but with regular road closures for reactive maintenance, being stuck in traffic can have a detrimental effect on your health. The UK Office of National Statistics released a summary of their findings and in their words ‘From the data analysis, it appears that commuters have lower life satisfaction, a lower sense that their daily activities are worthwhile, lower levels of happiness and higher anxiety on average than non-commuters. Average happiness levels begin to fall and anxiety levels begin to rise after the first 15 minutes of the commute to work’. So as is evident, the longer you are in that traffic jam, the worse it is for you. If you couple this with the extended wear and tear on cars and the increasing cost of fuel consumption, then this can easily be a recipe for an unhappy life.
GlasGrid® significantly improving reflective crack retardation
We have the technology in this country to be able to make reactive maintenance a thing of the past and significantly reduce road closure time. Asphalt reinforcement technology has moved on and cracking, fretting, and repairs can now be a weight off your commute and tough, durable, long-lasting surfaces are here to keep you moving. And not only to keep you moving, but to keep you moving safely as well. With asphalt reinforcement technologies such as GlasGrid® roads and pavements are far better able to be able to withstand constant stress over long periods of time. In fact, GlasGrid® can improve the life of an asphalt pavement by 200-300% through reflective crack retardation and this has been proven through continuous studies and tests across the world over the past 30 years. With Asphalt Reinforcement Services, you can rest assured that the pavement will take the stress so that you don’t have to.