Cardiff City Council spent more than £1.2 million repairing 8,850 potholes during 2009, with one road alone, Heol Lewis - or perhaps that should be 'Hole Lewis' - in the suburb of Rhiwbina, having more than 127 potholes of two centimeters or deeper, one for every five metres of its 670m length.
The figures were made available by Cardiff City Council following a Freedom of Information Act request by journalist Hanah Waldron, who is setting up a blog that will highlight the difficulties encountered by cyclist’s in the Welsh Capital.
A dozen roads in the city each have more than 50 potholes, with the worst offenders found in Cardiff’s outlying suburbs such as Lisvane, Old St Mellons and Pentyrch, as well as Rhiwbina itself.
And as reported here on road.cc last week, the current cold snap being endured across the UK means that in Cardiff, as elsewhere, the problem is likely to get worse.
Councillor Richard Cok, who represents the Canton ward, told the South Wales Echo: “As a cyclist, I know roads in Cardiff have got worse over the last three years. If Cardiff’s Liberal Democrat/Plaid Cymru council are serious about encouraging people to get out of their cars and cycle they should put greater resources into repairing potholes.”
Meanwhile, Pentyrch councillor Craig Williams claimed that the state of the city’s roads was a worry for his constituents, adding: “The council’s priorities are all wrong. They want to subside other services when roads are the bread and butter of what they should be concentrating on.”
Provision for cyclists in Cardiff has been the subject of some controversy recently, with council leader Rodney Berman taken to task in a televised debate by Welsh Green Party leader Jake Griffiths over the lack of facilities for cyclists.
Mr Berman responded to those criticisms by saying that the council had allocated increased resources to cycling, using a combination of its own cash and funding from the Welsh Assembly, and that the time to judge the success of those initiatives was ten years in the future, not now.
A spokesman for Cardiff City Council told the newspaper: “Potholes are not predictable. They can materialise at any time especially when there are poor weather conditions such as regular freezing, thawing and rain. All these roads will be inspected at least twice a year and any pothole over 20mm in depth will be repaired.
He added that “Cardiff council is committed to repairing footways and carriageways. During 2008/09, it spent £1.2m on pothole, paving and patch repairs to carriageways and footways and in the last year 8,850 potholes across the city have been repaired.”
The list of the 21 worst affected roads obtained by Ms Waldron is as follows:
1 Heol Lewis, Rhiwbina 127
2 Wenallt Road, Rhiwbina 113
3 Cefn Porth Road, Old St Mellons 97
4 Bronwydd Avenue, Penylan 84
5 Began Road, Old St Mellons 76
6 Tyn y Coed Road, Pentyrch 72
7 Michaelston Road, Ely 70
8 Mervyn Road, Whitchurch 65
9 Ty Gwyn Avenue, Penylan 64
10 St Mellons Road, Lisvane 55
11 Ridgeway Road, Llanrumney 54
12 Harris Avenue, Rumney 54
13 Mill Road, Ely 50
14= Pennsylvania, Pentwyn 48
14= Pentrebane Road, Fairwater 48
14= Lakeside Drive, Cyncoed 48
17 Graig Road, Lisvane 47
18= Persondy Lane, St Fagans 45
18= King George V Drive East, Heath 45
18= Brynfedw, Pentwyn 45
18= Church Road, Pentyrch 45
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.