At least 390 cyclists have been killed or seriously injured on Britain’s roads since 2007 as a result of potholes, according to figures highlighted by Cycling UK.
The figures, published by the DfT in response to a Parliamentary question, show that 64 cyclists were killed or seriously injured (KSI) in 2016 due to ‘poor or defective roads’, compared to 17 in 2007.
In a press release published today (8 March) to mark National Pothole Day, Cycling UK says it is alarmed and concerned at what appears to be a steadily worsening trend.
Sam Jones, Cycling UK’s senior campaigns officer said: “Our roads are in a shocking state.
“Unfortunately for cyclists if they hit a pothole, then it’s not just a costly repair bill but also a strong possibility of personal injury or in the worst cases death.”
National Pothole Day has been organised by campaigner Mark Morrell, better known as Mr Pothole, who says UK roads need a ‘proper long term investment plan and levels of funding to match’.
The day is underpinned by a Thunderclap campaign, which with 143 supporters has a reach of more than 2m social media users.
‘Mr Pothole’ has teamed up with the RAC to create a new new guide which makes ‘tongue in cheek’ points about the dire state of UK roads.
The guide encourages road users to report potholes and surface defects so that highways authorities can fix them.
Mark Morrell said: “I’ve been campaigning about the state of our roads for five years, but in all that time I can’t remember them ever being worse.
“We all know local authorities are cash-strapped but they also have a duty to provide road surfaces that are fit for purpose which many sadly aren’t.
“I hope this guide, through a little humour, might help to focus minds as the state of our roads is truly becoming a national embarrassment. There is, of course, a risk that we’ll become as obsessed with potholes as we are with the weather.”
The RAC is concerned that the recent extreme cold snap will lead to a ‘Spring pothole plague’ – as a result of water having made its way into cracks, freezing and then expanding.
Simon Williams, RAC spokesman, said: “While the snow caused serious short-term travel disruption, motorists will sadly be suffering its consequences for months and possibly years to come as our roads were already in a poor state of repair before the extreme cold weather hit.
“We fear that this Spring we may see the emergence of almost as many potholes as daffodils.
“And, although this is the season that is supposed to signal the start of better, warmer weather, this year we think it’s likely to be the start of even worse road surfaces for motorists to drive on.”