Monday, 20 February 2017

AI's haulage plans could cause the same road damage as 17 billion car movements

The LGA warns that pothole levels across the UK are likely to surge due to a spike in HGV numbers:
The Local Government Association... says chronic government underfunding has left the local roads network facing an "unprecedented crisis" and this new increase in lorries could push the network "over the edge".
Councils are warning 2017 could be a tipping point year for potholes, with the repair bill... projected to rise to £14 billion by around 2019... more than three times councils' entire annual revenue spending on highways and transport...
"Motorists should literally be bracing themselves for a surge in potholes. Our local roads network faces an unprecedented funding crisis and the latest spike in lorries could push our local roads network over the edge. Lorries exert massively more weight on road surfaces than cars, causing them to crumble far quicker.
Road damage rises steeply with axle weight, and is widely acknowledged to be proportional to the fourth power of the axle weight. This means that doubling the axle weight increases road damage 16 times, and in the case of the heaviest (44-tonne) trucks... HGVs are up to 160,000 times more damaging to road surfaces than the smallest vehicles.
Aggregate Industries is wanting to shift 1.5 million tonnes of as-dug sand and gravel from Straitgate Farm to Uffculme. This equates to some 105,260 HGV movements, which - according to the above - could generate the same road wear and tear as up to 17 billion standard car movements. Has AI factored road repairs into its costings yet?

Of course, for Devon County Council, the irony is that - by adopting a Minerals Plan with a Preferred Area for sand and gravel quarrying that can only be processed 23 miles away - this situation is entirely of its own making; a 2.5 million mile own goal.