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Crumbling red lanes for buses face chop

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

Pothole-ridden bus lanes in Wolverhampton are to be replaced with ordinary black asphalt after the more expensive red surfaces crumbled in the bad winter weather.

Pothole-ridden bus lanes in Wolverhampton are to be replaced with ordinary black asphalt after the more expensive red surfaces crumbled in the bad winter weather.

Council bosses today predicted a saving of £100,000 by repairing two bus lanes with normal road surfacing, and said the red material disintegrated "like chewing gum".

Wolverhampton City Council is planning to spend £2.8 million over the coming 12 months on road maintenance.But reports to the Conservative cabinet reveal that freezing conditions have ruined bus lanes on the A4124 Wednesfield Road and the A454 Willenhall Road.

Head of transportation David Orton said: "The bus lanes have suffered particularly badly and have required extensive patch repairs during the past few weeks.

"It is considered necessary to bring forward schemes to resurface these sections of road, and they have therefore been included in the programme.

"Following an appraisal of options and discussions with traffic and road safety specialists it is proposed to replace the existing red Tarmac surface on these bus lanes with "ordinary" black Tarmac.

"The red Tarmac is significantly more expensive to lay and experience in Wolverhampton has shown that it is less durable and does not last as long as black Tarmac.

"Use of a red coloured thin surface was also considered but is also more expensive and creates additional maintenance problems.

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"There is no legal requirement for the bus lanes to be surfaced in red, although it is thought to assist in reducing levels of contravention. However the bus lanes will be clearly signed as bus lanes."

Regeneration chief Councillor Paddy Bradley said: "We have had one of the worst winters for a long time and it is has really affected the roads.

"The red Tarmac is like chewing gum – it has just disintegrated."

Council leader Neville Patten has sought reassurances that the bus lanes will be very clearly marked so drivers know they are there.

In Wolverhampton, 495 potholes have been earmarked for work following the big freeze – more than six times the 80 which were patched up after the coldest spell of last year.

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