“After the ravages of winter, secure loose ironwork properly” authorities urged

SHIMPAC® Systems 26 February 2021

Annual repairs to roads damaged by the ravages of cold, wet, and after the ‘Beast from the East 2’ arctic conditions will cost local authorities millions of pounds in remedial maintenance for potholes and highway damage in the coming months.

At a time when councils are increasingly facing huge budget pressures, the colossal amount spent on temporary repairs around sunken manhole covers and unsecure highway drains, only for them to repeatedly fail is a truly inefficient use of taxpayers’ money according to Peter Rieck of SHIMPAC®.


Earlier this month (15 February 2021) UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced extra funding of £500 million to repair potholes on local roads in England this year to fill 100 million highway failure locations where potholes exist. This is the second annual instalment of additional funding support for highway maintenance totalling £2.5billion between 2020 and 2025 – but is extra funding for temporary repairs the best way to tackle this ever-increasing problem?

At sites where street ironwork is involved, much of this repeated temporary maintenance cost can and should be avoided using a system that seats the ironwork correctly and securely, providing a strong and stable solution. A solution that resists extreme weather conditions and lasts many years without further attention (35 years so far for the first sites to use SHIMPAC® in the UK).


“After the ravages of winter, loose manholes can and should be properly secured,” says industry expert owner of SHIMPAC® Peter Rieck. “Having developed an integrated and engineered solution for seating ironwork properly that can be tailored to each location, it is so frustrating to see councils still choosing to undertake poor temporary repairs every year. We have an effective and affordable solution available, with a successful track record several decades long.”


SHIMPAC® have been producing highly effective ironwork seating systems for almost 40 years. The product range and installation method is an engineered structural reinforcement to secure the chamber top, providing a strong and durable platform that lasts.


“We’ve developed an effective solution, proven to withstand the heaviest of punishment from the intense weight of traffic and the most demanding of weather conditions including floods and snow,” adds Peter Rieck. “SHIMPAC® systems provide a long-lasting structural solution to the problem of failed ironwork. Simply, quickly and effectively.”


Historically, poor workmanship has been to blame for a large majority of repeated failures, where contractors have attempted to achieve final adjustment for ironwork using stone mastic asphalt, cut bricks, quarry tiles, plastic shims, even beer cans and telephone directories or whatever unused material comes to hand, together with mortar. With an unstable base, the finished surface will crack and sink around the ironwork, resulting not only in costly repairs and traffic upheaval, but claims from vehicle users and personal injury claims resulting from raised ironworks. Loose ironworks can be particularly hazardous for motorcyclists and cyclists.


Some local authorities, water companies and civil engineering firms in the UK have been using SHIMPAC® ROADSHIMS® and COLLARS for years, but others are now being urged to use this approach. The term ‘do it right first time’ should become a mandate for the construction industry, as this type of product offers a resolution to a huge highway problem if secured properly using SHIMPAC® products.


The use of SHIMPAC® systems will ensure that planned new ironwork installations or repairs of existing installations will not repeatedly fail in the future. Savings for highway authorities and maintenance contractors can be seen in time related cost savings for install of the product, costly rectification visits and inspections, plus safety and environmental costs from the reduced need for traffic management on repairs, road user cost savings in terms of delays and diversion upheaval and the cost of damage claims to vehicle users from unsecure ironworks. Furthermore, the UK government should not need to continually repeat and further increase the additional millions of pounds in funding for emergency highway repairs beyond 2025.


For media enquiries please contact Melanie Willis at MW-PR on 07747 844995 or e-mail:

Notes to editors:

  1. SHIMPAC® Systems provide a stable and durable base for ironworks needing strong and secure seating. Designed and industry approved for use on all types of highway, versatile SHIMPAC® Systems products withstand extreme loads on highways, port, airport and rail locations.
  2. Developed by British expert engineers, SHIMPAC® Systems products come in various ranges to match virtually all commercially available street ironwork and where different shapes or sizes are required these can be manufactured through SHIMPAC® Specialist Services.
  3. SHIMPAC® Systems products are approved for use in many industries as the best long-term solution.
  4. Other major benefits of SHIMPAC® Systems products do not deteriorate with time or exposure to extreme weather conditions.
  5. SHIMPAC® Systems products are quick and easy to install and various thicknesses are available allowing the contractor to build up the area beneath the frame to bring it level with the road surface with millimetre accuracy. This negates the use of any uneven, inadequate or unspecified material to carry out the ironwork frame installation.
  6. SHIMPAC® Systems products are designed and manufactured with ESG principles in mind and are both sustainable and recyclable.
  7. For more information about SHIMPAC® visit the company website at