Britain’s roads are in a terrible state, and due to the current austerity cuts, it is unlikely that they are going to get better soon – at least if the top-heavy and poorly managed schemes that have grown up around & been used for the past decades.
Great needs require radical actions, or you get what you always got.
The simple fact is, the cost of the repair materials are the smallest fraction of the entire repair bill. The labour and overheads of admin are the largest part, but even that pales into insignificance compared to the costs of closing a road.
So, what is the answer?
Small potholes rapidly turn into big potholes, especially on busy routes, and so rapid action is essential to restore the road to a good standard, to prevent the problem growing.
So. We fix the small problems quickly.
The normal problem, sorry, solution, is that a report is made, someone eventually turns out to look at it & paints around the hole(s) and flags it for repair crew. Eventually they come out, cone the road, and sometimes do the work. Often, though, another crew will come in later! Then yet another will remove the lights & cones.
Instead, we have a lorry with a crew on it that drives around GPS tracked, looking for potholes, and checking reported ones.
A modern 3D laser scanner can quite easily determine the shape and volume of a pothole. So they find a hole, and immediately, visually, decide if they can cope. If so, they start by managing the traffic for safety, and scan the hole.
Next, they move the lorry into position, and the machine doses an exact amount of a modern pothole fixing, fast setting & self-levelling mix into the hole. The crew finishes it by hand, and the hole is repaired in 30 minutes to an hour – and yes, there are modern pothole fixing compounds that will take a lorry after less than an hour of cure time.
The crew then let the traffic carry on, and they move to the next pothole.
Over time, everything gets better. You could even mix dyes into the mix to get the multiple colours seen on UK roads these days.
Eventually, all the larger holes would be sorted, and a lot of money would be saved, and we would all be better off, even the non-drivers.