Domino’s Pizza has taken to repairing potholes in the US and branding the tarmac with its logo. How would you feel about the UK following suit in allowing private companies to fix our roads?
Potholes are rarely out of the news these days. Last week, we learnt that the Mellor Brook Bypass in Balderstone, Lancashire is Britain’s worst affected road, and a recent report from the World Economic Forum ranked our thoroughfares 27th in the world in terms of quality in 2017-2018.
In May, the AA estimated that potholes now cost drivers and insurers at least £1m collectively a month on repair bills. It also reported that the number of claims for the first four months of 2018 already equal those for the whole of last year.
Earlier this year, the government announced a £100m fund for road repairs, but with estimates that it would cost around £12bn and take more than a decade for councils to clear the current backlog, this seems small fry.
So what can be done about this ‘national embarrassment’, as the AA calls it? Well, if we look to our friends across the Pond, salvation could come in an unlikely form: pizza.
Before you start imagining our roads being filled with stale margheritas and stuffed crusts (although that might actually work, going by the hard-as-nails stuffed crusts I’ve eaten in the past), this isn’t as crazy as it sounds.
Rather, fast food giant Domino’s Pizza has become so tired of waiting for potholes to be fixed (and having its pizza ruined in the delivery process), that it has taken to fixing them itself.
Over the course of a year, the Domino’s Paving for Pizza initiative will see it dispensing grants of $5,000 to 20 locations across the country to help the local administration fix its potholes.
So far, it has partnered with four towns and filled a couple of hundred potholes with tarmac, each branded with the Domino’s logo and the slogan: ‘Oh yes we did’.
The project also allows customers to nominate their own town for the Domino’s effect on their local roads.
Currently, Domino’s has no plans to roll out the initiative in the UK, but how would you feel if local councils partnered up with private companies to help remedy our own pothole ‘epidemic’?
With little cash in their coffers to fix roads and the government fund unlikely to (excuse the pun) fill the hole, could it make sense for councils to get some extra help by offering an ‘Adopt a Pothole’ scheme, if you will?
What do you make of the idea? Are sponsored pothole schemes the way forward? Do you love or hate the thought of private companies being able to advertise on the tarmac in exchange for repairing the roads?
Or perhaps you feel local infrastructure should be solely the local government’s responsibility to uphold. Either way, let us know your views and ideas.