But this morning at 6.25am, there was possibly the softest radio interview ever with a representative of the asphalt industry alliance on the need for more money to re-surface the nation’s roads following the recent wet weather.
For those who missed it (or can’t be bothered to listen again), here are those hard hitting questions in full:
- I guess it won’t come as a surprise to many people that a representative from the Asphalt Industry Alliance will be telling us we need to fix our roads?
- OK, so why is the problem getting worse?
- I guess the weather hasn’t helped?
- How do pot holes form?
- Is technology in road building developing in such a way that we wouldn’t have to resurface new roads in the way we have to old roads?
- Just very briefly, is there a bit of cost benefit analysis available to… [question waffles on for 15 seconds, but essentially asks the Alliance to say why the government should invest in the roads]?
Now, I know next to nothing about asphalt, but here’s some questions which the Today programme COULD have asked:
- Isn’t it in the industry’s interests to make sub standard products that cause pot holes?
- You work with government to repair the roads, who is accountable for ensuring we get the roads we need?
- Given rain is not uncommon in this country – and there were no freezing temperatures this winter – why are the roads still breaking up?
- Can you predict when more reliable road technology will be available so we don’t have to resurface roads so often?
- How rigorous is councils’ system of procuring contractors? How many contracts end up with the big firms?
- Just very briefly, how much profit do your members make on fixing each pot hole?
And these are just some of the questions, I hope, the spokesperson would have been expecting to answer given he was going on the Today programme.
Or maybe not anymore.