Potholes Aren’t Just Damaging Cars, They’re a Danger to Cyclists

Cyclists are being warned about the worsening condition of roads across the UK – with data showing 21% of cyclists are involved in an accident because of a pothole. 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. Deeper potholes are also a menace to motorcycle and scooter riders, who can easily lose control of their machine and suffer a serious accident.

With a long winter of bad weather 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.

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. 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 & Down joined by Armagh City, Banbridge & 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.

“21% of cyclists experiencing pothole-related accidents is a worrying number because any accident for a cyclist, can be very serious. 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.”

Quotezone.co.uk helps thousands of road users each year find savings on everyday household bills and essentials plus niche items such as cycling insurancebicycle insurance, and road bike insurance.


RAC patrols attended nearly a quarter (23%) more breakdowns where potholes were likely to blame in the last three months of 2022 compared to the previous three months, new RAC figures show.

The motoring services company’s roadside staff went out to an average of 20 breakdowns a day between October and the end of the year – a total of more than 1,800 – for faults such as damaged shock absorbers, broken suspension springs and distorted wheels. This was up from 16 a day over the previous three months (1,462 in total) and was the highest number of pothole-related breakdowns seen in the fourth quarter of the year since 2019.

The threat of a plethora of potholes appearing over the next few months is now very real indeed given how much rain there has been either side of December’s sub-zero temperatures. These are the perfect conditions for creating potholes, as water makes its way into cracks which then expand when it freezes, causing the road surface to crumble.

Research for the RAC’s latest Report on Motoring found that an enormous 86% of drivers have had to deliberately steer to avoid potholes over the past year, a figure that rises to 90% of those in rural areas but only falls to 81% of those in urban locations. Most drivers (55%) also rated pothole repairs in their local areas as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’.

About alastair walker 12153 Articles
20 years experience as a journalist and magazine editor. I'm your contact for press releases, events, news and commercial opportunities at Insurance-Edge.Net

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