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Guidance is only that potholes of a certain depth should be ‘investigated’

The assistant coroner for Greater Manchester North says that the pothole guidance issued by the Department for Transport (DfT) in October 2016 increases the likelihood that cyclists will be killed.

Peter Sigee reported on the death of Roger Hamer, a cyclist who was killed after crashing on Bury New Road in March 2016 after he had struck a pothole.

The subsequent police investigation identified several road defects in the area, the largest of which was a pothole 0.6m wide, 1.5m long and 50mm deep.

BikeBiz reports that previous practice had been to repair any pothole “found to be 40mm or deeper,” but that the Well-Managed Highway Infrastructure: a Code of Practice, issued in October, now states only that potholes of 40mm or deeper should be "investigated".

Writing to the chief executive of Bury council and transport secretary Chris Grayling, Sigee expressed his belief that the new procedure would “increase the risk of future deaths, in particular to cyclists.”

Grayling expressed sadness at Hamer’s death, but said, "it is for local authorities to decide and determine the dimension of a pothole as a basis for their decision-making."

Cycling UK’s position is that better guidance is needed. Its view is that there is little to be gained from defining a minimum size of pothole, pointing out that the position of a defect can render it hazardous even when it is below a certain size.

Bury New Road, where Hamer was killed, is steep in places, and what might have been seen as a minor pothole on a flat stretch of road could have been greatly more dangerous when descending.

Cycling UK says that there needs to be greater understanding of the difficulties potholes can present for vulnerable road users and it has also called for greater investment into repairing local roads, suggesting that the Government reallocate funding from its £15bn Road Investment Strategy to deliver this.

AA president Edmund King also expressed concern at Sigee’s comments.

"When the road is pot-holed it means that cyclists are more likely to swerve and this increases the likelihood of collisions. Hence we believe that more should be done to make good road maintenance a priority. It is worrying that the coroner in this case has suggested that the ‘New Procedure' will increase the risk of future deaths, in particular to cyclists."

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6 comments

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brooksby [2909 posts] 3 months ago
11 likes

Grayling expressed sadness​ total disregard at Hamer’s death, but​ and said, "its not my problem, mate, bl**dy tax dodging cyclists deserve everything they get; gawd, I managed to take one out myself with a car door once..."    yes

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DrG82 [217 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

I was really annoyed at the council repair people recently. After riding past a massive hole in my road for ages, always thinking that I should report it, I finally reported it. And that morning, while I was in work and few hours before i reported it, they bloody fixed it making me look like a fool for reporting something that had already been fixed.

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Jitensha Oni [104 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes

Get the %$@?#^! inspectors to ride over/into the pothole(s) on a bike. Make it an e-bike to save their legs, but it should have a front basket, and that should be full of table tennis balls (or, calibrated, filled to a level where none would escape on an agreed decently surfaced road).  You're welcome, DfT.

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beezus fufoon [973 posts] 3 months ago
1 like
Jitensha Oni wrote:

Get the %$@?#^! inspectors to ride over/into the pothole(s) on a bike. Make it an e-bike to save their legs, but it should have a front basket, and that should be full of table tennis balls (or, calibrated, filled to a level where none would escape on an agreed decently surfaced road).  You're welcome, DfT.

maybe puppies?

Avatar
Grahamd [862 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes
beezus fufoon wrote:
Jitensha Oni wrote:

Get the %$@?#^! inspectors to ride over/into the pothole(s) on a bike. Make it an e-bike to save their legs, but it should have a front basket, and that should be full of table tennis balls (or, calibrated, filled to a level where none would escape on an agreed decently surfaced road).  You're welcome, DfT.

maybe puppies?

Too big, go for ducklings.

Avatar
DrG82 [217 posts] 3 months ago
1 like
Grahamd wrote:
beezus fufoon wrote:
Jitensha Oni wrote:

Get the %$@?#^! inspectors to ride over/into the pothole(s) on a bike. Make it an e-bike to save their legs, but it should have a front basket, and that should be full of table tennis balls (or, calibrated, filled to a level where none would escape on an agreed decently surfaced road).  You're welcome, DfT.

maybe puppies?

Too big, go for ducklings.

How about a basket of eggs? See if they end up with egg on their faces.