Steel road plates are an important safety element in any roadworks, covering over trenches so that vehicles can drive over them without their wheels becoming stuck, and helping to remove a trip hazard for pedestrians.

Any major increase in the amount of roadworks being carried out is likely to also have an effect on demand for steel road plates – and that is what may occur in England in the years to come.

The Transport Select Committee recently published its report Better Roads: Improving England’s Strategic Road Network, and manufacturers’ organisation EEF, which encompasses UK Steel, welcomed the report.

Chris Richards, business environment policy advisor at EEF, said: “The strategic road network is the most business-critical network and the glue that holds our transport system together, but its central importance to the economy has not been reflected in public spending decisions for a number of decades.”

He added that the Transport Select Committee’s report raises the question of how to sustain long-term investment into the quality of England’s roads network.

But with 86% of manufacturers identifying road as business-critical, compared with just 6% who consider rail to be equally important, it is clear that long-term maintenance of the road network will be important for generations to come.