Michael Fabricant visited Wrekin Products to discuss the issue of potholes in Britain’s roads on Friday 17 April.
“You’ve only got to drive down the road to see how many potholes are caused by failing manhole covers,” says Simon Turner, Wrekin Products’ Sales Director. “We explained to Michael that although the average cost to fix a pothole is £50, replacing a manhole cover on a main road can be as much as £1,000.”
There are over 6 million manhole covers in the UK and independent research indicates that the majority of these are showing signs of failure. Britain’s road users are fed up with the problem. The annual ALARM survey from the Asphalt Industry Alliance reports the damage to vehicles caused by potholes cost £23million in compensation claims alone last year.
Getting it right in the first place means saving time and money. Wrekin Products is at the forefront of developing ways to prevent manhole covers from failing to reduce the number of potholes and road hazards. Michael was shown the new product testing and training facility at Wrekin Products HQ on Britannia Business Park.
Since moving to Lichfield at the beginning of 2014, the fast-growing company has created new jobs employing local people. Specialising in the design and manufacture of manhole covers, gully grates and geotextiles, Wrekin Products is a successful local business.
Michael Fabricant says: “I was fascinated to visit Wrekin and meet all the management, design, and warehouse staff. I learned a lot about manhole covers and in particular how important it is for them to be stable to avoid potholes and road noise. We talked about the design of manhole covers and I sent them a photo of a manhole cover I took in Israel because of its interesting design. I must be the only candidate they have ever met who has taken a photo of a manhole cover while on holiday! I was delighted to join in the 15th birthday party of their Unite design of manhole cover.”
Simon adds: “Michael really listened to the issues around potholes. He was interested in how Wrekin Products is working with industry groups to try and raise manhole cover standards in the UK.”
Wrekin Products’ flagship manhole cover Unite is designed to reduce the number of failures that cause potholes. Since its launch 15 years ago there have been no known failures. Michael met with Unite’s designer Barry Turner and was invited to celebrate the occasion by cutting the cake.