Yesterday, DriveWrite’s American Friend, Bill Crittenden, gave us the lowdown on the Pothole Preacher, Tony Yarber. This got me wondering if it could possibly work here:
Praise be! The Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi has the solution to the pothole question. Tony tweeted that the Southern State’s cratered roads could be healed by the power of prayer. The good fellow is not of course suggesting, I presume, that The Deity is likely to roll His or Her sleeves up and get stuck into job with a will but rather that others can be encouraged to do so by dint of the power of prayer. By all means give it a go but don’t hold your breath.
Clearly Mr Yarber has more faith in the authorities than we here on this Septic Isle; this Blighted Britain. There’s a lot of talk as ever but personally I’m not seeing a lot of action, locally at least, viz a viz hot tarmacadam action. We do know that Chancellor George still clings to the idea of VED as a source of revenue. We are told that from 2017 Road Tax will revert to its original purpose and actually be spent on the roads, which is terrific news. The downside is that you can be as sure as eggs are eggs that we will pay more for the privilege.
If the Pharisees of Government (or the conniving suits of the EU) would only consider a modification to fuel tax then we could perhaps adopt a ‘the more you drive the more you pay’ system, which has often been mooted and seems fair. It might also be germane to ask cyclists to contribute. After all, they want cycle lanes, symbols and signs on our roads yet contribute not so much as a groat – and I say that as a cyclist myself.
As ever, we must look to America for solutions. The good people of the Southern States of the USA are well known for being God-fearing folk so, if all the motorists over the pond got together for a pray-in at the worst pothole afflicted sites, it could have an effect. Calling down lightning bolts and a plague of bum boils on laggardly officials might well spur them into action. Just as soon as they get back from lunch. Well, if it works there…
Well-meaning people like Tony Yarber can often leave themselves open to a bit of light teasing but in a sense he is not wrong. For many years now we have called on our political masters to do their bloody job by fixing the roads. Decades of under – or even no – investment has left us in the position we are in today and all politicians of whatever stripe during this time are culpable. This is the sort of thing we pay their salaries and expenses for. Now look what’s happened.
Instead, we are obliged to litigate against councils and the Highways Agency to get back the cost of repair to our damaged vehicles. This costs us time, worry, inconvenience and expense in increased premiums and the outcome is never assured. So it would seem that, in the absence of any other ideas, we might as well all put our hands together and seek solutions from above. You can try for a positive pothole outcome but frankly if I’m honest, you haven’t got a prayer.