Cyclists’ organization CTC has revealed that its pothole reporting website www.fillthathole.org.uk has seen its highest ever number of reports this month, with almost a week of January left. Historically, the website receives most reports during February and March when rainfall is higher, suggesting that there may be more pothole misery to come.
The spike in recent reports is due to the cold snap that the UK endured earlier this month, with snow penetrating cracks in road surfaces then expanding as it froze, forcing the tarmac apart.
With CTC expecting further deterioration in the nation’s roads over the next few months, the organisation is urging local authorities to move quickly to address the situation.
Chief executive Kevin Mayne said: “I am sure that all cyclists are seeing what I see on my daily commute: a huge increase in the size and number of potholes. Our site www.fillthathole.org.uk has received a record number of hazard reports this January – the highest monthly total we’ve ever seen. Reporting hazards on our site is an easy way to make sure councils know where they are so they can get them fixed.”
The Fill That Hole website allows users to flag up potholes and other road hazards via an interactive map. That information is then passed on to the relevant local authority, which has a duty to make sure that roads are properly maintained. CTC says that once a pothole has been logged on the website, in the event of an accident it is possible to demonstrate that the council knew about it.
That in turn allows CTC members who have been injured as a result of accidents involving potholes to recover damages from local authorities as a result of their injuries, with Kenneth Atkinson recently receiving an out-of-court settlement for £6,250 from Kent County Council after a pothole caused him to come off his bike and dislocate his shoulder.
Earlier this week, we reported that the Institute of Advanced Motorists had urged drivers to be extra vigilant regarding cyclists trying to avoid potholes, with the organisation saying, “they are entitled to a wobble and would appreciate not having a motorist attempting to overtake just as they avoid a hole in the road.”
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.