As advocates of National Bike Week 2021 (May 30th – June 5th) are encouraging people across the UK to rethink their everyday trips and switch to cycling.
The overall size of the potholes in Greater Manchester towers over some of the tallest skyscrapers in the region, according to a study by personal injury specialists at JMW Solicitors, raising safety concerns for the region’s growing cycling community.
The Manchester-based law firm’s cycling injury team examined data provided by fixmystreet.com which found that there are currently more than 7,114 open pothole cases reported in the area. A single pothole is defined as any defect greater than 40 mm deep; However, this adds up to a combined minimum depth of 284.6 m.
This means that the combined depth of the potholes is deeper than the height of some of the tallest and most iconic buildings in Manchester, including Deansgate Square South (200.5 m), Beetham Tower (168.9 m) and Deansgate Square East Tower (157.9 m) m). ).
Nadia Kerr, director of bicycle injuries at JMW Solicitors, said: “Potholes can cause life-threatening injuries to road users, especially cyclists and motorcyclists. It is imperative to remedy these road defects in order to enable road users to have a smooth journey. Unlike motorists, cyclists and motorcyclists who encounter a pothole cannot simply drive through it as it will most likely force them off the bike. In addition, they cannot always easily avoid them if they are in the traffic route.
“Although there has been an increased presence of roadworks repairing potholes due to the coronavirus pandemic, while roads have become quieter due to the coronavirus pandemic, not enough is being done to prevent the number of potholes from rising. Councils should carry out regular checks to identify potential hazards and ensure that deficiencies are properly addressed within a reasonable time.
“If the community violates its duty to maintain and repair roads and sidewalks and if someone suffers damage from a pothole or other road fault, they are entitled to assert the pain caused by it.”
It is the responsibility of the municipalities to maintain the roads in their area so that cyclists, motorcyclists and other road users are safe. This is a legal requirement under Section 41 of the Highways Act 1980.
An avid cyclist and bicycle accident attorney, Nadia led a nine-month campaign against Manchester City Council over a single pothole to protect fellow commuters from the road defect. The pothole on Manchester’s Upper Chorlton Road was deep, large, and dangerous, which if bumped into it could cause serious harm to a cyclist.
After five complaints, a spate of social media posts, and a motion under Section 56 of the Highways Act, the pothole has finally been filled. Since Nadia shared her story on social media, Nadia has been inundated with pothole complaints and cases of affected commuters.
Nadia Kerr said, “As a concerned citizen, road safety and active travel activist, and bicycle accident advocate, I was determined to keep trying to address this shortcoming. But this is just one pothole in one community area, and there are thousands more across the region. “
The number of reported open pothole cases in Greater Manchester rose nearly 5% from 6,783 in 2019 to 7,114 in 2020. The hardest hit area, Manchester city center, saw an almost 6% increase from 2,228 over the same period to 2,356.
Since JMW began reporting the number of potholes in Greater Manchester in 2018, the total number of potholes in the area has increased by a third, from 5,341 in 2018 to 7,114 in 2020.
“That’s not good enough,” said Nadia.