Do vehicles damage pavements. Err… yes they do big time

26 Mar

Some time back I reported about the huge cost of repairing pavements around the country (some £234m per year across the country). Since then I have been spending some time paying attention to the patterns of damage to pavements to see where the damage is and if it can be attributed to vehicles. The answer is very clear, the damage is coming from vehicles, particularly from heavy vehicles. Strangely this is the only class of vehicles which is specifically allowed to park on the pavement to load/unload. Paved pavements are particularly vulnerable.

This first photo shows a totally destroyed pavement on a local industrial estate that I visited recently. Notice the new asphalt pavement on the other side of the road.

Totally destroyed pavement

Here is another view. There are only two intact paving slabs on the entire path and these are around the base of the lamp post. I suggest that vehicles are avoiding that section of pavement.

Another view. The paving slabs next to lamp post are in good condition

And then I spotted this entrance across a pavement that was generally in very good condition. Notice the broken slabs just where a vehicle’s wheels would be putting pressure.

The pavement is only damaged where vehicles cross it

On my way home I spotted this a cement mixer lorry up on a pavement. This is actually completely legal; the 1980 Road Traffic Act gave vehicles over 7.5 tonne dispensation to park on the pavement to load and unload if this ‘could not have been satisfactorily performed if it had not been parked on the footway or verge’. (Section 19 and 20)

A heavy cement lorry up on the pavement

One Response to “Do vehicles damage pavements. Err… yes they do big time”

  1. Amoeba March 26, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    Perhaps the fine for parking on the pavement should cover the cost of enforcement and the appropriate fraction of the true cost of reinstatement of paths and services, personal injury claims against the council, administration etc.

    I’m pretty sure that instead of council-tax payers subsidising pavement parking, if the costs were paid by those causing the problem, the problem would, to a large extent just go away.

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