According to the Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey carried out by the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) it would now take 12 years to repair the back log of potholes in England & Wales and 14 years in London.
The Government needs to allocate more funds to highway authorities to resolve this serious problem.
Potholes can kill or cause serious injuries to cyclists and motorcyclists. Compensation claims now cost the taxpayer £32 million a year. Claims have risen by 20% in England and 66% in Wales. An additional £200 million of revenue has been set aside to deal with the estimated 3.3 million potholes but is it enough? The average cost of fixing a hole is £52 (or £70 in London). £12 billion is the estimated catch up cost to get roads into a reasonable condition.
Seriously injured road users or bereaved families will wonder how it has got to this? The roads here in the UK are seemingly in a much worse condition to the rest of Europe. Our maritime climate is only part of the problem; the real issue is the long term underinvestment in our road network. This ought to be a serious election issue for MPs.
The National Cycling Charity (CTC) has a Fill That Hole website and iPhone app enabling people to report potholes wherever they find them, these are then sent directly to local councils for repair. Funding from the Department for Transport will mean an Android app and updated iPhone app will be launched in the next few weeks.
Chris Peck, CTC Policy Coordinator has commented that [cyclists] ”are still greatly concerned about the state of the roads - while investment has increased in major roads, the minor road network - where 82% of cycling takes place - continues to deteriorate. Poor road surfaces make cycling less comfortable, and can cause serious injuries and even deaths”.
Paul Kitson is a Practice Group Leader & Personal Injury Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London. He is also the client partner for the CTC, and has particular expertise in cycling injury claims.
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