25 years on, Wakefield cyclist repeats pothole tandem ride invitation to council

Brian Law says problem just as bad as it was in 1987 when councillor took up his challenge

by Simon_MacMichael   March 19, 2013  

pothole_garden_04.jpg

A Yorkshire cyclist has repeated an invitation first made 25 years ago to the local councillor responsible for roads in Wakefield to join him on a tandem bike ride to experience for themselves the extent of the West Yorkshire town’s pothole problem. Despite being taken up on his original offer in 1987, Brian Law says nothing has changed in the quarter century since then.

“Everybody is talking about the state of the roads,” he told the Wakefield Express. “It really is quite bad and you can’t go for more than 100 yards or so down the road without hitting a pothole.

“They are a danger and some of them are really severe,” he went on. “I have still got a tandem and I thought I would revive the challenge and see if they wanted to take it up this time round.”

After he issued his initial challenge in 1987, Councillor Mike Chandler took him up on it and said afterwards: “I have learned a lot today about bike riders’ problems,” highlighting the impact of road works carried out by utility companies and the risks posed by sunken manhole covers.

Mr Law, now aged 69, singled out Batley Road close to where he lives as having being especially poor when it came to the state of its surface due to potholes.

“There is one in particular that is really deep,” he said. “I could put a dozen eggs in it. Nobody seems to be doing much about it. I don’t think they appreciate what a danger they are, even as a driver.”

He added that he has found springs from car suspensions that have been broken after being driven over the potholes, adding, “I come across them often.”

The council’s current service manager for highways, Graham West, told the newspaper: “Batley Road is included in our highways maintenance programme for this coming year.

“This will involve patching of the existing carriageway and then next year the full length of the road will be resurfaced.

“This road, like all roads across the district, has been inspected every year to ensure it is of a safe condition for both motorists and pedestrians.”

There was no news of whether he would be taking up the offer to go on a tandem ride, although he did add: “I would be more than happy to speak to Mr Law to discuss any further concerns he may have.”

One thing of course that has changed in the past quarter of a century is that you can now report potholes and other road defects requiring attention via CTC’s Fill That Hole website and mobile app.

Currently, Fill That Hole reports that Wakefield Council has repaired 15 of the 175 potholes logged on the site, a rate of just 8.82 per cent, compared to a national average of 29 per cent.

10 user comments

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I've heard they also have a problem in Blackburn, Lancashire.

Between the S and the LOW

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1188 posts]
20th March 2013 - 2:05

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It would help if the CTC made an android version available so perhaps those of us without an I Phone could also report potholes too.

posted by paulmerrett [3 posts]
20th March 2013 - 8:20

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Agreed. Wakefield has a real problem. Almost lunar!

mingmong's picture

posted by mingmong [191 posts]
20th March 2013 - 10:02

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“This road, like all roads across the district, has been inspected every year to ensure it is of a safe condition for both motorists and pedestrians.”

Yes but not Cyclists!
Unfortunately it is the same everywhere as I have got some right corkers near me that would write off a Mastiff. Patching of the road surface is a pointless exercise because it is never done properly and that just leads to bigger holes. If they are blaming the utility companies for the state of them who was it, in the council, that checked the carriageway reinstatement and signed off on it? Repairing of anything by the lowest bidder is something to be viewed with caution so why is it acceptable for our transport infrastructure? Just repair/resurface the road properly after all "I pay road tax!", council tax I know but I fancied going there as it is a strange feeling to be on that side of the statement Wink

cidermart's picture

posted by cidermart [457 posts]
20th March 2013 - 10:38

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GO TO FILL THAT HOLE ON THE CTC WEBSITE, OR DOWNLOAD THE APP FOR YOUR PHONE.
EVERY HOLE I'VE EVER REPORTED HAS BEEN FILLED WITHIN A MONTH.

www.fillthathole.org.uk

Big Grin

Ian of Woodford

winprint's picture

posted by winprint [122 posts]
20th March 2013 - 10:45

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I do and they occasionally get filled, usually to a very poor standard just to get worse within six months or the following year.

cidermart's picture

posted by cidermart [457 posts]
20th March 2013 - 10:52

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...You must have a really good council with bucket loads of cash. I cycle mainly in Oldham & the potholes are so bad here that it was a story on the BBC national news last week...!
Some holes have been filled in but they end up with a shiny finish & are a skid danger...even in the dry!

Noelieboy's picture

posted by Noelieboy [86 posts]
20th March 2013 - 11:10

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bikeboy76 wrote:
I've heard they also have a problem in Blackburn, Lancashire.

Excellent!

posted by MattT53 [126 posts]
20th March 2013 - 11:30

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bikeboy76 wrote:
I've heard they also have a problem in Blackburn, Lancashire.

It's not so bad, they're rather small.

posted by drfabulous0 [273 posts]
20th March 2013 - 13:00

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Very good Smile

Down our way they recently went through a spate of resurfacing. With loose stone chippings all the way along an old Roman road that is predominantly used by cyclists and hardly used by any cars. Then on this same stretch they closed the route to cyclists for over a week last year (it forms part of the National Cycle Route) for the Open Golf. Motorised vehicles were still allowed access !!

Clueless

posted by jimbocrimbo [35 posts]
20th March 2013 - 20:05

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