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A large pothole in the road, filled with water.

Fill that Hole: Help Make our Roads Safer for Cyclists

Potholes can be hazardous, especially for cyclists, with road defects contributing to hundreds of cycling accidents each year.  

Cycle SOS has partnered with national cycling charity, Cycling UK to relaunch the new and improved Fill That Hole website, helping to make our roads safer by allowing the public to report potholes and other road defects for repair.  

What causes potholes? 

Potholes can develop over time due to wear and tear, with the wet and cold weather making the UK’s roads particularly prone to pothole damage, due to repeated freezing and thawing. A pothole is usually considered dangerous if it is a minimum of 40mm deep and a width of 300mm or over. But in reality, any road defect – regardless of size – can be hazardous to cyclists.   

Potholes: the cost to cyclists  

Notoriously hard to spot, potholes can pose a significant danger to cyclists, often causing them to have an incident on their bikes. This can lead to serious injury, including head injuries, spinal injuries, fractures and soft tissue damage. As well as causing physical injury, potholes can cause damage to bicycles and other equipment. Some people have the view that potholes are just a trivial annoyance but as personal injury lawyers we see first-hand what can happen as a result of a road defect. We recently settled a case on behalf of a widow whose husband died after he lost control of his bicycle after hitting a pothole. We want to ensure that the highways are safer for all cyclists.   

Who is responsible for repairing potholes? 

Local councils and highways authorities, such as National Highways, have a duty to maintain the condition of our roads, but they can only repair road defects they’re aware of.  

Reporting potholes is extremely important so that the relevant authority can arrange for a repair to be carried out, helping to prevent further accidents from happening. Using a tool like Fill That Hole is a quick way to document a pothole and report it.  

Fill That Hole – a campaign for safer roads  

Cycling UK has been helping its members report potholes via ‘pothole cards’ for decades; later replacing the cards with the launch of the Fill That Hole website in 2007. Since then, over 65,000 road defects have been reported, with 20,000 recorded as fixed. 

The new and improved Fill That Hole site will relaunch today on National Pothole Day and will allow members of the public to log potholes and other hazards quickly and easily via a computer or smartphone, sending a report directly to the council.   

The improved site will enable users to include a photo of the road defect and facilitate the reporting to the local authority, enabling them to assess the damage quicker.  

Bob Coupland, Head of Cycling Claims at Cycle SOS, part of Fletchers Solicitors, commented: “We are thrilled to see the launch of the Fill That Hole website; a commendable initiative that empowers cyclists and the public to contribute to safer roads. As legal partners of Cycling UK, we understand the importance of addressing the issue of potholes and road defects for the wellbeing of cyclists. 

“This platform not only serves as a valuable tool for reporting potholes but also plays a pivotal role in fostering collaboration between the cycling community and local authorities. The ability to swiftly report road hazards enhances the overall safety of our roads and reduces the risk of accidents. We’re committed to supporting initiatives that prioritise the safety of cyclists. The Fill That Hole website aligns seamlessly with our mission to advocate for the rights and wellbeing of cyclists on the road.”        

Claiming compensation for pothole damage  

Cyclists are disproportionately affected by potholes compared to other road users, and up to 15% of the cycling injury claims we handle are related to road defects. As well as helping prevent further accidents, the Fill That Hole platform can support those making a claim for compensation after a pothole accident. 

The key to making a successful pothole accident claim is to clearly document the pothole as soon as possible. The website will allow users to view the details of reported potholes, potentially showing the degeneration of the defect over time, which may be used as evidence to support their claim.  

Making a claim for pothole damage can be tricky, as you must be able to prove that the pothole caused the accident and that the relevant authority was aware of the defect. Many pothole claims fail in the early stages, so it’s important to have an expert who understands the complexities of pothole claims on your side to fight your case.  

To find out more, visit https://www.fillthathole.org.uk/ or for legal advice on making a personal injury claim as a result of a pothole, call us on 0808 500 8102 or start your claim online.  

 

Written By:

Cycle SOS
Cycle SOS only deal with cycle accident claims. We understand cyclists, and believe that cyclists have the right to be safe on the roads. Cycle SOS The Cyclists National Helpline is made up of a highly trained team of specialist personal injury cycling lawyers that have recovered millions of pounds for people making bicycle accident claims.