Japanese automobile manufacturer Honda has announced that they have had to build a test track in its engineering headquarters that resembles Britain’s pot-holed roads. This is to ensure that the cars will be suitable for when they arrive on UK roads and to avoid any potential problems from arising.
The four mile track at the Northern plant in Takasu, Hokkaido has many potholes, cracks easily and is noisy to drive on. It has sharp turns and can recreate the sub-zero temperatures found in Britain’s cold winters. The track even features UK road signs.
A spokesperson for the AA has described the news as a ‘sad indictment’ of the British road system. Mr Watters said: ‘Unfortunately, it seems potholes are here to stay, so car manufacturers are right to invest in trying to prepare cars for the conditions here.’
A spokesperson for Honda has said: ‘The road surfaces in continental Europe, especially in the North, are paved with hard material that does not absorb water. This is because, in severe winter, absorbed water in the material may freeze, turn into ice and destruct the roads. England does not tend to suffer with this severe winter, and so the surface is made with softer materials with many pores to absorb rain to prevent a slippery surface. As a result, UK roads have a rougher surface, which creates more road noise than other European roads. What Honda wanted to replicate in Takasu was this type of road surface.’
Poor road surfaces have often been blamed for hefty repair bills and last year local councils in Britain had to pay out nearly £23 million in compensation to drivers whose cars have been damaged by potholes.
Do you own a Honda? What are your thoughts?