Shamed by Japan: Britain’s pot holed roads to ruin

Pothole in London borough of Haringey: Pic Credit: Alan Stanton -Creative Commons

Pothole in London borough of Haringey: Pic Credit: Alan Stanton -Creative Commons

You couldn’t make this up. Britain’s potholed and noisy roads have such a bad world-wide reputation  for damaging new cars that a Japanese manufacturer has  replicated a British road  to test them before they can be sold in the UK.

Yes Honda has built four miles of rough British road -including British road signs and a roundabout -in Takasu, Hokkaido in Japan because they cannot find a main road bad enough to test car suspension in the 5500 miles between Japan and London.

Evidently  Britain is unique in building roads with porous surfaces which mean that every winter  they crack, break up and create pot holes. Nobody else in Europe would dream of building such roads which are noisier and can’t cope with bad weather.

As  a spokesperson for Honda  put more diplomatically: “The road surface in continental Europe, especially in the North, are paved with hard material which doesn’t absorb water. This is because in severe winter, absorbed water in the material may freeze turn into ice and destruct the roads.

“In England, we don’t tend to suffer with this severe winter and so the surface is made with softer materials with many pores to absorb rain to prevent a slippery surface. As a result, UK roads have a rougher surface which creates more road noise than other European roads. What Honda wanted to replicate in Takasu was this type of road surface. Rough does not mean badly maintained or pot-holes. It means the different material.”

Honda has also created roundabouts because as Honda put it:” In certain rural UK areas, roundabouts create a situation where high stopping power, agile acceleration response and high manoeuvrability is required. There is no such situation in Japan as there are hardly any roundabouts.”

So now we know why we are having to put up every year with multi million pound bills, legal claims for compensation from councils. Instead we need to buy cars which have to be tested abroad on replicated British roads because they can’t find any like ours in  their country.

The full story is on the Exaro News at . If you want to see the spiralling costs of pot holes see February’s Which/ magazine ( . The outstanding bill for repairs is £12.93 billion.

Or if you are really fed up why don’t you e-mail the roads minister, Norman Baker at and tell him to start bitmac ( the replacement for tarmac) roads with surfaces that are bound to crack up every winter.