pothole claims

Cracked Streets and Collisions: Navigating Life in Pothole-Stricken Britain – Pothole Claims

The UK is facing a mounting issue with approximately 2 million potholes, indicating a deteriorating condition of the country’s infrastructure.

A March study analysing government statistics and conducted by a price-comparison site unveiled that the Blackburn with Darwen council area had 76% of its roads in need of repair, with Bristol close behind at 78.5%.

However, this pothole problem isn’t confined to specific regions; it’s a nationwide predicament that is progressively worsening. According to the RAC’s report in June, pothole-related breakdowns have reached a five-year peak. The number of callouts for breakdowns due to poor road surfaces surged by 40% year on year, reaching 8,170 in the UK between April and June. The head of roads policy at RAC, Nicholas Lyes, attributed this surge to last winter’s series of well-below-average temperatures combined with heavy rainfall. These weather conditions allowed water to seep into cracks, freeze, and expand, causing roads to rapidly deteriorate as vehicles passed over them.

Potholes arise from a confluence of factors, such as the relentless cycle of freeze-thaw, heavy vehicular traffic, water damage, aging roads, wear and tear, and subpar construction practices. In the context of Britain’s weather and road conditions, their prevalence comes as no surprise.

In an effort to combat this issue, the government committed to investing £5 billion in road and highway maintenance from 2020 to 2025. Additionally, annual funding is allocated for pothole repairs outside London. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, in the spring budget, augmented this budget by an extra £200 million per year to combat the “curse of potholes,” raising it to a total of £700 million. Moreover, local authorities receive funding through various schemes to support road maintenance.

However, Mark Morrell, while holding this year’s Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (Alarm) survey from the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA), contends that the current efforts are insufficient. The survey paints an alarming picture, revealing that local authorities received only around two-thirds of the required funding to prevent further deterioration of roads. To address the existing backlog of carriageway repairs, an estimated amount of more than £14 billion is needed.

Potholes pose a significant risk to cyclists, often resulting in falls onto the road and into oncoming traffic. Rain exacerbates the danger, as potholes fill with water, making them even harder to detect.

Recent case in which a cyclist, thinking he hit a puddle, went through a deep pothole, breaking his bike frame and injuring himself. Fortunately, he made a successful claim against the local authority. In another tragic instance, a retired music teacher lost his life after his bike got stuck in a 23cm-deep pothole in Wyre, Lancashire.

That while fatalities are infrequent, even one is too many. We aim not only to secure compensation for individuals but also to shed light on the issue and drive change in pothole maintenance and road safety. The responsibility lies with both central and local governments to address the “woefully inadequate” state of the country’s roads and make them safer for all road users.

Our Nicholson Jones Sutton Cycling Accident Claims Specialists are sympathetic, understanding, and can help you get the outcome you deserve.

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