ROAD NEGLECT MENACE
FOR. some time MOTOR SPORT has drawn attention to the increased danger to drivers of fast cars from road surfaces which, for reasons of socalled econotny have not been dressed with tar and chippings.
Official attention has now been drawn to the matter, and the road material used and the state of the surface at the time of the accident are to be the subject of questions in the new report form which is to be used in future by police authorities throughout the country. In addition, the Ministry of Transport has instituted an enquiry into the question. The economies in the total road expenditure amounted in 1932 to 28 per cent. Economies M road maintenance alone are estimated at 13 per cent. Production returns of quarries which supply chippings for surface dressings with tar
have fallen, it is estimated, by 20 per cent, and show, therefore, that hundreds of miles of roads went without their annual tarred stone dressing last summer.
“Road authorities in this country seem to have gone economy mad,” says Mr. Victor Riley.
“No one to-day asks for elaborate and costly new roads, but there are many signs that the roads we have are being allowed to deteriorate as they did in the war. ” Already we are paying for last summer’s neglect. I know of roads that are now notorious death-traps which would have been safe enough if they had been properly tarred and dressed in the summer. I would rather drive over the most dangerous Passes of the Alps than on some of our own roads in drizzly rain V’ Many road surveyors are protesting against the present craze for ruthless economy. “I am convinced,” says the Kent Surveyor, Mr. H. D. Chapman, “that it is false economy to let our roads
It is equally false economy, he says, to lay poor quality materials. He is going ahead with safety maintenance and during the present road year he has used close on 1,000,000 (one million) gallons of tar, mostly for surface dressing, and has carried on with other improvements such as banking sharp corners.
The result claimed is that Kent roads are a pleasant contrast to some highways in the” neglected” areas—the Folkestone road is said by many motorists to be one of the safest high-speed roads in the country—and a lesson in how improvements can be carried out in spite of reduced grants.