Responding to the Government’s announcement of a further £100 million for pothole repairs following the recent severe winter weather, Sam Jones Cycling UK’s senior campaigns officer commented: “Any funding which will help improve our roads is welcome, but it does not change the fact it is still too little too late. Giving money simply to fill potholes is the same as if a doctor had put a broken leg in plaster before setting the fracture. The bone is still weak, poorly healed and more likely to break again and the same can be said for our roads too if we persist in just funding patchwork jobs rather than full scale road resurfacing.
“Cycling UK’s research published on Sunday has shown the true cost is a human one as people cycling are suffering from personal injury and in the worst cases even dying. The Government should concentrate on fixing the underlying problems of our current local roads network before building new ones. Councils need enough funding to adopt long-term plans for roads maintenance, as repairing streets only as they become dangerous can only ever be a short-term solution.”
Cycling UK runs the pothole reporting webtool and app Fill That Hole; it recently published its findings showing local authorities have spent at least £43.3 million dealing with compensation claims and legal costs due to potholes over the last five years.
The cycling charity points out compensation claims and legal fees alone, not including staff time, from the 156 highways authorities is equivalent to 17 per cent of the Government’s five-year Pothole Action Fund of £250m allocated announced in April 2015.