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Bloody awful British roads


S-Westerly
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When exactly did our roads get so bloody horrible? This last week I've done just over a thousand miles. About 750 in the car between Gloucestershire and mid-Northumberland on motorways and A roads and the rest on the bike in Gloucestershire, Somerset and the cities of Bath and Bristol. I can honestly say I've seen better in most developed countries that I've been to and that most western European countries are generally better. What with potholes, ridges, trenches and bad surfaces overall they are a total disgrace. My local M5 junction (13) was resurfaced less than 2 years ago and it now looks like a topographical map of the moon. :evil:


Why?????!!!!!

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For the past 15 to 20 years they have been temporarily repaired and then temporarily repaired again, Get yourself off to France for some decent road surfaces, or Germany or Italy or ....... you get the idea.

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Yeah I know. Just thinking where I've been in the last few years that had worse roads than us and so far only come up with Russia, Turkey and Egypt. It's just so depressing. As for riding elsewhere it's a bit difficult to have an afternoon whizz in France for example.

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I am a bit envious of people that live in Kent and can just pop through the tunnel for a weekend in France.

 

Me too: the 4 hours between Harrogate and Folkestone are by far the worst of every European trip I do.

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When exactly did our roads get so bloody horrible? This last week I've done just over a thousand miles. About 750 in the car between Gloucestershire and mid-Northumberland on motorways and A roads and the rest on the bike in Gloucestershire, Somerset and the cities of Bath and Bristol. I can honestly say I've seen better in most developed countries that I've been to and that most western European countries are generally better. What with potholes, ridges, trenches and bad surfaces overall they are a total disgrace. My local M5 junction (13) was resurfaced less than 2 years ago and it now looks like a topographical map of the moon. :evil:


Why?????!!!!!

Austerity. And still they vote......

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Yeah I know. Just thinking where I've been in the last few years that had worse roads than us and so far only come up with Russia, Turkey and Egypt.

 

You don't have to go that far... try Belgium. just keep on going and wait till you cross into Luxembourg. (sigh) roads laid like silk... keep going and cross into the Eifel. Same again.. like silk and never any sign of the road having been dug up to relay a pipe or similar. If anyone tried that they would be sued. first by the village the road is closest too and locals have to use. next by the 'county" who helped pay for it. and finally by the state. And if the federal prosecutor decides any laws were broken. (which probably were) then prison too.


the germans take real pride in their roads. we do not.


Rather pay for stupid stuff.. so we can continue to pretend to be a world power.


bulldog spirit and that. What-ho.

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Yeah I know. Just thinking where I've been in the last few years that had worse roads than us and so far only come up with Russia, Turkey and Egypt.

 

You don't have to go that far... try Belgium. just keep on going and wait till you cross into Luxembourg. (sigh) roads laid like silk... keep going and cross into the Eifel. Same again.. like silk and never any sign of the road having been dug up to relay a pipe or similar. If anyone tried that they would be sued. first by the village the road is closest too and locals have to use. next by the 'county" who helped pay for it. and finally by the state. And if the federal prosecutor decides any laws were broken. (which probably were) then prison too.


the germans take real pride in their roads. we do not.

 

Yes, I was going to mention Luxembourg :thumb:

Worst roads I've seen are in Malta, in fact the whole island is a scruffy dump :thumb:

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[mention]S-Westerly[/mention] yep completely agree the roads in Somerset Bristol and Bath are appalling. A lot of the local councils have no money, they put it out to tender, the cheapest contractor gets the work and they either don’t know what they’re doing or are using poor quality materials so it doesn’t last.

They filled a load of potholes last year (they were more like craters) and they turned them into humps! I thought there’s no way they are going to get away with that but they did, they carried on going around the area creating humps instead of holes!


I watched a Nottingham rider vid the other day about road positioning and he kept saying “people say the centre position is no good becasue it’s full of gravel and debris but look it’s not” Obviously depends where you are because down here it most certainly is!

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Someone much more in the know than me told me that we should actually surface dress our roads more often. I know that has a bad rep amongst most of us, but the problem is we don't do it often enough and instead wait until the road is full of craters, and just throw some stone chips at the road.


But of course, that requires capital expenditure versus a break fix budget...


edit: oh, and he also told me that councils usually don't sweep the road often enough after they have done it, further adding to the bad rep

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Someone much more in the know than me told me that we should actually surface dress our roads more often.

 

The Germans would never allow that. they would be ashamed. when a road needs repairing they don't 'bodge' it.. they strip it out completely down to the under soil or rock. call in every utility and tell them to do whats needed while they have the chance (or woe betide) and then rebuild the road from scratch.


But, they have the money to do it and take pride in doing it properly.

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Someone much more in the know than me told me that we should actually surface dress our roads more often.

 

the germans would never allow that. they would be ashamed. when a road needs repairing they don't 'bodge' it.. they strip it out completely down to the under soil or rock. call in every utility and tell them to do whats needed while they have the chance (or woe betide) and then rebuild the road from scratch.


But, they have the money to do it and take pride in doing it properly.

 

I'm not an expert, but that was the point he was making.


You don't surface dress a road when it needs repairing. You do it as routine maintenance, much like cleaning and relubing your chain.


This increases the time before you need to do a full and proper resurface

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Surface dressing is just another way of saying "Chippings" - see that kind of thing all the time here done badly, in France and Belgium but never in Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland or Austria. its a bodge. so is a 'resurface' thats another bodge.


we set such a low standard that a resurface is cause for rejoicing.

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I watched a Nottingham rider vid the other day about road positioning and he kept saying “people say the centre position is no good becasue it’s full of gravel and debris but look it’s not” Obviously depends where you are because down here it most certainly is!

....sorry for the slight hijack but at last........someone who actually looks at where they want to go and then decides whether or not to go there......instead of thinking "I should be in position 5" and then going there only to be dismayed by what they find....bit too late, then :cry:


Anyway, back on topic, if things keep going the way they are at the moment, we will be relaxing with a mug of acorn "coffee" remembering the days of road dressing with a wistful smile, as we watch the ox-carts trundle slowly up the ruts in the muddy quagmire that used to be the M1.......

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I watched a Nottingham rider vid the other day about road positioning and he kept saying “people say the centre position is no good becasue it’s full of gravel and debris but look it’s not” Obviously depends where you are because down here it most certainly is!

....sorry for the slight hijack but at last........someone who actually looks at where they want to go and then decides whether or not to go there......instead of thinking "I should be in position 5" and then going there only to be dismayed by what they find....bit too late, then :cry:


Anyway, back on topic, if things keep going the way they are at the moment, we will be relaxing with a mug of acorn "coffee" remembering the days of road dressing with a wistful smile, as we watch the ox-carts trundle slowly up the ruts in the muddy quagmire that used to be the M1.......

 

So you’re saying I need a trail bike... one that runs on methane :D

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@S-Westerly yep completely agree the roads in Somerset Bristol and Bath are appalling. A lot of the local councils have no money, they put it out to tender, the cheapest contractor gets the work and they either don’t know what they’re doing or are using poor quality materials so it doesn’t last.

They filled a load of potholes last year (they were more like craters) and they turned them into humps! I thought there’s no way they are going to get away with that but they did, they carried on going around the area creating humps instead of holes!


I watched a Nottingham rider vid the other day about road positioning and he kept saying “people say the centre position is no good because it’s full of gravel and debris but look it’s not” Obviously depends where you are because down here it most certainly is!

 

And in Gloucestershire too. Half the time I end up closer to the white line than I'd like but at this time of year from the near side out to mid lane it's a happy mixture of potholes and gravel slicks. Throw in some mud and the obligatory spilt diesel and it's just so much fun - not.

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I watched a Nottingham rider vid the other day about road positioning and he kept saying “people say the centre position is no good becasue it’s full of gravel and debris but look it’s not” Obviously depends where you are because down here it most certainly is!

....sorry for the slight hijack but at last........someone who actually looks at where they want to go and then decides whether or not to go there......instead of thinking "I should be in position 5" and then going there only to be dismayed by what they find....bit too late, then :cry:


Anyway, back on topic, if things keep going the way they are at the moment, we will be relaxing with a mug of acorn "coffee" remembering the days of road dressing with a wistful smile, as we watch the ox-carts trundle slowly up the ruts in the muddy quagmire that used to be the M1.......

 

So you’re saying I need a trail bike... one that runs on methane :D

Which, somewhat creepily, swings right back to my avatar.......

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@S-Westerly yep completely agree the roads in Somerset Bristol and Bath are appalling. A lot of the local councils have no money, they put it out to tender, the cheapest contractor gets the work and they either don’t know what they’re doing or are using poor quality materials so it doesn’t last.

They filled a load of potholes last year (they were more like craters) and they turned them into humps! I thought there’s no way they are going to get away with that but they did, they carried on going around the area creating humps instead of holes!


I watched a Nottingham rider vid the other day about road positioning and he kept saying “people say the centre position is no good because it’s full of gravel and debris but look it’s not” Obviously depends where you are because down here it most certainly is!

 

And in Gloucestershire too. Half the time I end up closer to the white line than I'd like but at this time of year from the near side out to mid lane it's a happy mixture of potholes and gravel slicks. Throw in some mud and the obligatory spilt diesel and it's just so much fun - not.

.....and not forgetting Gloucestershire's innovative approach to gritting.........they don't. As least yer bike doesn't corrode....... :thumb:

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Actually my bit of Gloucestershire does grit and quite well to be honest. I live up a steepish hill which is regularly gritted. We've had little icy weather this year but last year in the beast from the East we could always get in and out. That's Stroud District rather than the posh bit out in the Cotswolds.

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The best road surface around here is the new Weedon/Flore by pass on the A45 .

Race track smooth with a beautiful sweeping bend downhill to a roundabout, straight over into a long open RH curve to an undulating straight about 2 miles long.

Wonder how long it will be until that is littered with pot holes?

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Actually my bit of Gloucestershire does grit and quite well to be honest. I live up a steepish hill which is regularly gritted. We've had little icy weather this year but last year in the beast from the East we could always get in and out. That's Stroud District rather than the posh bit out in the Cotswolds.

I live near the other end (Moreton) and you never see a gritter out here......know Stroud quite well, bought a couple of bikes from BVM and used to fly up at Aston Down. Some nice roads......when it's sunny and they've mended them..... :thumb:

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The best road surface around here is the new Weedon/Flore by pass on the A45 .

Race track smooth with a beautiful sweeping bend downhill to a roundabout, straight over into a long open RH curve to an undulating straight about 2 miles long.

Wonder how long it will be until that is littered with pot holes?

Nice.....how's the M45 these days?

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Unfortunately at the moment most of the good roads are like pot holed corduroy with a liberal spatter of mud, grit, dead badgers and spilt diesel. Parts of the A46 are still good though. I'm guessing if you were flying out of Aston Down it may have been gliding?

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