Cyclists demand action on potholes after �1m payout

A cycling group is calling on residents to report potholes to a new website after Herts County Council paid out over �1m in legal costs in the last five years because of the blight.

The Stevenage and North Herts branch of the UK cyclist’s organisation, CTC, said the problem needs to be dealt with to stop potentially lethal accidents.

The group is calling on cyclists, motorists and pedestrians to report potholes to them via a new website and an iPhone app. Members of the organisation will then contact the authority to ask for the damage to be repaired.

Branch secretary Jim Brown said the money paid out by the council to settle claims, which amounts to �1,078,526 to date since April 2006, could have been spent repairing hazardous roads.

“Most of it, for me, has been the need to avoid things all the time, which is a danger in itself. It can seem to following traffic that you are doing unpredictable things,” he said. “Others have come off their bikes into the road.

“We are supposed to be encouraging people to get on their bikes.”

He added that the website should help to get roads repaired as the organisation will keep a record of all reports, making the council more liable if a claim is subsequently made.

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“The council has a duty to maintain the roads. Now there’s no excuse for them not knowing where the problems are,” he said.

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