Bishop's Stortford Cycling Club member urges Herts County Council to fill in 'dangerous' potholes
A cycling club is urging the highways authority to fill in the many potholes that have appeared in the roads around Bishop's Stortford after a national campaign highlighted the "serious safety risk" to riders.
Cycling UK launched Pothole Watch Week (March 1-7) and revealed that of the cases dealt with by the lobby group's legal service, 15% were due to road defects.
Clive Farley, press secretary for Bishop's Stortford Cycling Club, said the condition of the roads was the worst he had known in 50 years of riding in the area.
"I try and ride a metre out from the edge of the road to avoid potholes," said Clive, from Stansted, who said that Rye Street in Stortford was one of the worst.
Cycling UK accepts that the "sorry state of funding" for local authorities mean they have less money available compared to 2016-17. But it was critical of the Government policy of "pouring billions into expanding motorways and A-roads".
The group added: "With more people likely to be working from home regularly into the future, now is the time to shift roads spending towards the local roads we all use every day when we’re walking, cycling or indeed driving. Part of that shift should involve serious spending to tackle the root of the pothole problem."
Clive, 65, agreed that country roads could be dangerous, revealing he had ridden down a pothole in Hatfield Broad Oak which was covered by a puddle after flooding.
"It would be nice if they could fill the potholes more quickly and spend some money tarmacking the whole section," he added.
A spokesman for highways authority Hertfordshire County Council said that where possible it prefers "to prevent potholes forming in the first place by treating roads that are starting to deteriorate".
He claimed the county's roads had improved over the years as a result of extra investment in a resurfacing programme targeting residential roads and country lanes.
"In line with good practice, we operate a risk-based approach to dealing with potentially hazardous potholes on our roads," added the spokesman.
"We aim to make the most significant ones safe within 24 hours, but the majority of potholes that are big enough to need rapid attention receive a first-time permanent repair either within five days or within 20 days, depending on factors like the size of the pothole and how busy the road is. We are currently achieving this over 98% of the time."
Road users are encouraged to report potholes, or any other defect, to www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/highwayfaults.