Councils face huge compensation bills over potholes


Not only do cyclists have to contend with unpredictable motorists on our roads but now a bigger problem is emerging for the urban cyclist – potholes.

Amelans Solicitors who have a specialist team that act for cyclists has seen a huge increase in the number of cycling accident claims caused by potholes in the road surface. These defects can also cause problems for motorists and sometimes pedestrians but it is the cyclist that is more vulnerable to serious injury when hitting a pothole or large indentation in the road. It is estimated that on average there is one pothole for every 110 metres of road in the UK.

The maintenance of Britain’s roads is usually the responsibility of the local authority or the highways agency. They have a duty to regularly inspect and maintain the roads within acceptable parameters. If there is failure to implement and enforce these guidelines then they may become liable for any claims for injuries caused by the defect.

Winter weather does have a significant effect on the condition of our roads with the continual freeze/thaw cycle being blamed for the development of more potholes than ever before from existing road defects.  However, whatever the cause, the roads still have to be maintained to an adequate standard.

Phil Banks, Head of Business Development at Amelans says, “I am a very keen cyclist and over recent years have seen a definite decline in the standard of the road surfaces in this country. This is reflected in the number of cycling accident compensation claims caused by potholes that we have received here at Amelans. Injuries caused by ‘pothole accidents’ can be very severe especially if the rider is thrown off their bike into oncoming traffic. As specialists in this area of personal injury law we have now set up a dedicated website to help and advise those who may have been involved in a cycling accident.”

Cyclist are now being urged to report any dangerous potholes that they might encounter on their travels to so that hopefully they can be filled in faster by the local authority before yet another tragic accident occurs.