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Road to hell

May 14, 2018

As South Africans, we all love to complain. In fact, I’m convinced it’s an official national pastime! One of our favourite topics is the bad condition of roads in South Africa…

However, it seems that we’re not alone. According to road safety and breakdown recovery specialist GEM Motoring Assist, the roads in the United Kingdom (UK) ain’t looking too posh either.

“The UK road network is in an appalling state, with more than 24 000 miles (38 600 km) of road in need of repair during the next 12 months, and one in five local roads in danger of failing in the next five years,” notes GEM road safety officer Neil Worth.

A study by the Asphalt Industry Alliance has confirmed that 20 percent of carriageways in England and Wales are five years away from being unusable.

Naturally, the Road Haulage Association (RHA) is concerned about the situation. “The government and local authorities can do a lot more to bring the network up to standard, so that the roads aren’t full of cracks waiting to turn into dangerous potholes that can cause collisions.

“Local roads, where hauliers make their last-mile deliveries, are often in a poor state and the damage they can cause to heavy goods vehicles – in particular to their suspension systems – can be considerable. More potholes mean more breakdowns, more roadworks and more delays. And delays in a ‘just-in-time’ economy are disastrous for business,” notes Richard Burnett, chief executive of the RHA.

So, the next time you start moaning about the roads in South Africa, think about the poor Brits. First Brexit, and now this!

My friends call me a glomad (a global nomad lest you don’t get it). That’s a particularly apt word, because I am always trawling all corners of the globe, looking for stories. As a result, I have slept in some seriously strange places – on a bed of ice in the Arctic circle, on the floor in a traditional Japanese hotel, on the sand dunes in the Wadi Rum Desert in Jordan … and even on the floor of a Thai cargo ship. Mostly however I tend to sleep on aircraft (if I had a dog, he would bark at me when I eventually come home). I am passionate about trucks, cars, travel, food, wine, people and hugs – so I write about all these things. Except the hugs.

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