Highways Agency Cost-Cutting May Trash Your Car

It doesn’t seem to matter how much you pay in taxes in the United Kingdom, the government departments will still try to cut corners to save a few quid regardless of the side-effects to the general public.

According to the Daily Telegraph a new form of gritting, known as “pre-wet“, will be used this winter to melt the ice on our roads. OK, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with gritting as it keeps the roads clear, traffic flowing and potentially saves lives. However, according to research carried out by Volkswagen this pre-wetting method is far more corrosive to vehicles than the current method.

Pre-wetting involves adding a brine mixture to the salt to accelerate the de-icing process on the road, and consequently requires less salt to be used. The Highways Agency claims that this makes it more “environmentally friendly”, but coincidentally it also makes it a lot cheaper than the current sand-and-salt mixture.

Volkswagen carried out comprehensive research after the technique was used in Austria and they have found that it is much more corrosive to vehicle undersides and alloy wheels, and can also lead to blemishing of a vehicle’s paintwork. Volkswagen faced a huge increase in warranty claims after cars started to rust prematurely, and with a fleet of 430 new pre-wet gritters taking to the roads this winter it is feared that similar problems could arise here in the UK.

So, does this sound like another case of saving cash and letting the public worry about the costly after-effects? It sure does to me.

Source: Daily Telegraph


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Author: Chris Auty

Voted the Breakthrough Blogger of 2013 by SEAT and the Guild of Motoring Writers , Chris has lived and breathed cars since he was old enough to say 'faster'. With a penchant for hot hatches and an allergy to public transport, he would much prefer to drive a bad car than never drive at all. Fortunately his family has learned to put up with this obsession and the internet has provided a channel for his ramblings.

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