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Experts from leading bicycle insurance comparison site Quotezone.co.uk warn that this figure will only increase unless the Government tackles the worsening condition of UK roads. With some bad weather still ahead, cyclists will run an increased risk of accident and injury by riding over potholes if UK roads are not properly maintained.
Damaged road surfaces represent a disproportionate risk to cyclists due to the lack of protection and the proximity of motor vehicles.
Spending on road maintenance has almost halved since the financial crisis just over a decade ago, and the recent cost of living crisis has pushed potholes further down the priority list for Governments and local councils.
Even temporary pothole fixes – which involve filling the hole with a form of asphalt treatment – have decreased by almost half in some counties.
There are also claims from members of the public that councils are not properly inspecting potholes that have been reported online.
Several county councils have admitted that filling in potholes is no longer a priority as a result of the rising cost of living, with less funding for UK highways.
With the Met Office issuing weather warnings for the coming weeks, the number of potholes on UK roads is set to increase.
A combination of bad weather and lack of funding has left the UK network at crisis point with experts predicting the pothole problem may soon get out of hand.
Experts at Quotezone.co.uk are calling for councils and the Government to urgently act on what is a UK-wide problem for the benefit of all road users but particularly cyclists as they are the most affected by damaged road surfaces.
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Data shows that the worst pothole-affected area in the UK by far is Northumberland, with over 180,000 potholes reported over four years, followed by Cornwall and Kirklees in West Yorkshire.
Newcastle, Liverpool and Suffolk also have some of the worst potholed roads in the UK as well as Fife and Glasgow in Scotland, and Newry, Mourne and Down joined by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon in Northern Ireland.
Lee Evans , bicycle insurance comparison expert at Quotezone.co.uk said: “Many of us who cycle in the UK have been shocked at the growing danger caused by roads strewn with potholes, and unfortunately the problem does not seem to be going away.
“Some 21 percent of cyclists experiencing pothole-related accidents is a worrying number because any accident for a cyclist can be very serious.
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“With a winter of extreme weather predicted in the coming weeks and with spending on road maintenance on the decline, we could expect to see an increase in pothole-related cycling injuries.
“We’d encourage local authorities and the government to act now on fixing the UK’s pothole problem to help keep cyclists and all other road users safe.”
Data also shows that the amount of pothole claims has increased by a third (34 percent) since 2016.
Experts at Admiral are warning that December’s icy snap could cause even more cracks to open up in Britain’s roads echoing the fall out of “Beast from the East” in 2018, when plummeting temperatures caused pothole claims to surge by 102 percent.
Six years of Admiral claims data reveals that more than a third of pothole-related claims occur between January and March – more than any other time of the year.
Driving over a deep pothole, even at a low speed, can cause damage to a vehicle’s tyres, alloy wheels, steering alignment, wheel tracking and balancing and suspension.
When the steering is severely damaged it can also make it difficult for the driver to control the vehicle, which could increase the risk of accidents.
The average cost of pothole damage has also increased by 16 percent, according to Admiral’s data, likely linked to higher-tech vehicles and a general increase in the cost of repairs.
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