Hello pothole my old friend

19th July 2021 Personal Injury

With the prospective lifting of Covid restrictions seemingly upon us by 19th July, a shift from remote working to returning to the office will surely follow. Whilst some may not be looking forward to leaving behind their home offices, the prospective return to the office and further freedoms on travelling locally will mean more traffic on our roads.

Alongside this step towards normality, the Covid pandemic has also seen a surge in the purchase of bicycles. Many retailers within the cycling industry have noted the increase in demand for bicycles within the last year and a half. With more cyclists on the road as well as a potential resumption of pre-Covid levels of traffic, if this has not already been reached, the potential for accidents involving potholes is apparent.

The cycling community itself is all too aware of the risks posed by potholes. Whether you are out for a leisurely ride with friends or are attempting to set a new time on Strava, the potential to be involved in an accident caused by a pothole and suffer injury is always there for cyclists. So the question remains, what can be done to mitigate the threat potholes pose on our roads?

The UK Government has responded within the last 18 months to the pothole issue by creating the Pothole Fund. This will provide £500 million a year to be distributed to councils across the UK to help with highways maintenance. The proposed idea is that these funds will help to fix 10 million potholes across the UK.

However how can we individually assist with the repair of our roads and removal of potholes?

One of the most effective actions that can be taken by the general public is to report the potholes they encounter. Whether these are ones that have appeared after the winter months, following on from utility works, or, the road is simply deteriorating.

You can report the potholes you come across in a few different ways. Firstly reporting the defect you have found directly to the council itself. All councils will/should have dedicated pages on their websites and process for reporting potholes and we suggest this is where you start. If you are also ever unsure about the council for the local area then you can use the government website council locator to enter the postcode nearest to the defect and this will show you the authority for that area.

Secondly you can report the potholes through several websites that deal with reporting on our roads. Fillthathole and Fix my street are both excellent places to note down any potholes or defects that appear on your road.

With any increase in pothole reporting, especially reporting directly to councils, this will provide a clearer picture of the scale of the potholes on our roads. Thus assisting the local councils appropriately direct their funds to tackle these issues.

Reporting these potholes directly to the council will also help to push the council to assess and hopefully repair the pothole in the road. A concerted effort to raise these issues to the council will help speed up the repair of defects and return your local roads to a safe condition.

So next time you are out for a ride, drive or walk and come across a pothole causing an issue, report it, and make sure to note exact locations and take as many pictures as possible. Hopefully through this public effort coupled with the increased political will to invest in our infrastructure, our roads can become a safer place for all.

https://www.fillthathole.org.uk/

https://www.fixmystreet.com/

https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council

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James Harvey is a Paralegal located in Manchesterin our Bicycle AccidentsPersonal Injury departments

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