Potholes

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
roscjoh

Potholes

Postby roscjoh » 12 Jan 2007, 9:48pm

I am a regular cycle commuter across west london from Balham to Ealing.

Apart from glass on the road being an ongoing problem I seem to have suffered recently from potholes on the road surface. Partially and poorly resurfaced trenches that seem to swallow a bike wheel.

Ealing seems to be particularly bad to the extent that I came off while negotiating an oncoming vehicle and several times have feared coming off as my bike seems to drop into a void.

I know in theory that the local council website should be the solution. My experience with putting things on the Wandsworth website and the Hounslow website it that they swallow it like the potholes swallow my bike. Nothing happens and you do not know whether they have failed to receive it or are just ignoring it.

My route takes me through Ealing and Richmond but I have not got round to trying to get them to take any action.

What should I do about these hazards and what results should I expect in what timescales?

The experience and advice of others would be welcome.

John Roscoe

ps The options and disable features are beyond my capabilities at present

thirdcrank
Posts: 30805
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Postby thirdcrank » 12 Jan 2007, 10:50pm

roscjoh

If you have the energy, keep reporting problems. (I am ashamed to say I gave up years ago in Leeds when I decided it would be easier to report any smooth bits.)

Once upon a time, highway authorities were more or less completely responsible for any injury/damage resulting from road faults. Then there was a case decided at court where it was held that the H.A. need only have an inspection regime that was appropriate for a reasonable authority (or words to that effect) They all then began a competition to see who could set that standard at its lowest. If an authority has been notified of a defect, then they will find it much harder to evade liability. In the event of an accident cause by a pothole etc., the first thing a competent lawyer would do would be to write to the H.A. to see if they had prior knowledge.

User avatar
Graham
Moderator
Posts: 6489
Joined: 14 Dec 2006, 8:48pm

Postby Graham » 12 Jan 2007, 11:01pm

thirdcrank wrote:If you have the energy, keep reporting problems. (I am ashamed to say I gave up years ago in Leeds when I decided it would be easier to report any smooth bits.)

:P . . .oh, so true. And my unfortunate perception is that the roads appear to be breaking up faster than ever before. Possibly related to the ever increasing volume of traffic and the increasing axle weights.
I have had some success with Surrey County Council using their online reporting system. In the end it was sheer persistence ( and some pleading . . . )

User avatar
Fonant
Posts: 432
Joined: 14 Dec 2006, 9:18pm
Location: Lancing, West Sussex
Contact:

Postby Fonant » 13 Jan 2007, 9:09am

You may well be interested in an article that should appear in the next issue of Cycle magazine... ;)
Anthony Cartmell (also known as "admin" when posting in a more official capacity on this Forum)
Kangaroo trike, Windcheetah recumbent, Batavus dutch bike, Dawes Galaxy Twin tandem, Pashley unicycle
http://www.fonant.com – Quality web sites.

User avatar
Mrs Tortoise
Posts: 453
Joined: 8 Jan 2007, 11:44pm
Location: Dorchester, Dorset

Postby Mrs Tortoise » 13 Jan 2007, 6:45pm

Take a photo of the worst one and send it to Cycling Weekly, they give a prize for it, they also embarrass the local authority involved. 8)

brodibike
Posts: 2
Joined: 20 Jan 2007, 12:32am

Potholes

Postby brodibike » 20 Jan 2007, 12:37am

Apparently you can report potholes now electronically via CTC website.
There is a form which will submit to the relevant local authority.
Has anyone done this and if so where is the link on the wesbite to do it?
Thanks
8)

User avatar
Fonant
Posts: 432
Joined: 14 Dec 2006, 9:18pm
Location: Lancing, West Sussex
Contact:

Postby Fonant » 20 Jan 2007, 9:21am

Still under development, but very nearly ready.

The idea is that the CTC will keep a database of all reports, and will contact the relevant authorities on behalf of the reporters. This should make the whole process more transparent (everyone can see what's happening about each pothole) and more consistent (reports to authorities will contain as much information as possible, and in a standard format).

More details in the next Cycle magazine.
Anthony Cartmell (also known as "admin" when posting in a more official capacity on this Forum)
Kangaroo trike, Windcheetah recumbent, Batavus dutch bike, Dawes Galaxy Twin tandem, Pashley unicycle
http://www.fonant.com – Quality web sites.

brodibike
Posts: 2
Joined: 20 Jan 2007, 12:32am

Potholes

Postby brodibike » 20 Jan 2007, 9:49am

Thanks Anthony, that's useful
When this is done I can link our websites campaigning/pothole pages to the CTC on-line system.

dratt
Posts: 12
Joined: 27 Jan 2007, 10:45am

Postby dratt » 27 Jan 2007, 10:53am

thirdcrank wrote:roscjoh

Then there was a case decided at court where it was held that the H.A. need only have an inspection regime that was appropriate for a reasonable authority (or words to that effect) They all then began a competition to see who could set that standard at its lowest.


It's called a section 58 defence and protects public money being wasted on unnecessarilly onerous inspections (i.e. a HA would need to have roads inspected every hour of every day to minimise liability) and also reduces the huge number of bogus claims.

There is an estimate that HAs spend over £60m a year on claims and (in the authority where I work) a large proportion are spurious.

My own personal experience of reporting defects to HAs is that they respond very quickly (especially my local one, Surrey).

Matt

David
Posts: 131
Joined: 11 Jan 2007, 5:13pm

Postby David » 27 Jan 2007, 1:23pm

When out cycling, you are acutely aware of how bad the roads are <rant>Why is it that road construction companies can put down a beautiful smooth stretch of tarmac for cars to drive on yet seem incapable of performing the same feat for cycle paths ?</rant>. I notice every little dimple, every broken surface - even those bits we don't have to avoid. I think what we need is the highway engineers to be forced to ride bicycles on the roads to survey them. Perhaps the roads would be in better condition if more road engineers rode bicycles.

User avatar
squeaker
Posts: 3761
Joined: 12 Jan 2007, 11:43pm
Location: Sussex

Yep, they don't ride bikes....

Postby squeaker » 27 Jan 2007, 5:50pm

David wrote:Why is it that road construction companies can put down a beautiful smooth stretch of tarmac for cars to drive on yet seem incapable of performing the same feat for cycle paths ?</rant>. I notice every little dimple, every broken surface - even those bits we don't have to avoid. I think what we need is the highway engineers to be forced to ride bicycles on the roads to survey them. Perhaps the roads would be in better condition if more road engineers rode bicycles.
The East Worthing seafront cycle path was laid about 2 years ago. The interim state was smooth, machine laid HRA (the adjoining footpath too). Then the top surface - horrible green gritty stuff - was laid on the cycle path by 2 men with shovels and a hand roller :((
Guess which side I ride on?
(Mind you, the new Shoreham to Lancing cyclepath is just HRA - Yippee! - but the cycle path is on the land side of the footpath, whereas the East Worthing path is on the sea side of the footpath. It's all very confusing.... :roll: )
"42"

thirdcrank
Posts: 30805
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Postby thirdcrank » 27 Jan 2007, 6:08pm

dratt

I have not been to Surrey for many years so I will not comment.

I live in Leeds which recently was said in a regional BBC programme to have the worst record for compo payouts in Yorkshire. So either, according to your thesis we are all bent in Leeds or our roads are even worse than the rest of a pretty bad lot.

I appreciate that this is down to money. The multi-level govt., system we have in the UK allows everybody to blame everybody else. Central govt., is blamed for not providing the money, local govt., for spending it on the wrong things. In the meantime, we have more politicians per head of population than anywhere else in the modern world. (Most on the gravy train .) And more chiefs than indians when the appointed officials in central govt., are added those at the various local levels.

I agree completely with you that this needs to be reasonable, but that is a subjective word. I reiterate what I said before. And incidentally, claims whether bogus or genuine would not exist, at least around here, if the roads weren't in the sort of mess you might expect in the third world.

RichMoss
Posts: 47
Joined: 31 Jan 2007, 10:07pm

Re: Potholes

Postby RichMoss » 31 Jan 2007, 10:12pm

brodibike wrote:Apparently you can report potholes now electronically via CTC website.
There is a form which will submit to the relevant local authority.
Has anyone done this and if so where is the link on the wesbite to do it?
Thanks
8)


Is this the link you're thinking of ?
http://www.fillthathole.org.uk

Richard

dratt
Posts: 12
Joined: 27 Jan 2007, 10:45am

Postby dratt » 1 Feb 2007, 5:49pm

thirdcrank wrote:
I live in Leeds which recently was said in a regional BBC programme to have the worst record for compo payouts in Yorkshire.


Bearing in mind the above perhaps you could point out just how much money is wasted paying out to claimants to your local Councillors and then they might consider diverting some extra money into maintenance.

I agree with all of what you are saying - the blame culture is ingrained from top to bottom and there's far too much interference from the top.

thirdcrank
Posts: 30805
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Postby thirdcrank » 1 Feb 2007, 7:18pm

I should like to think that local councillors know most of what is going on. They have the same access to roads and television that I do and a lot more scope to find out things from officers. However, I am not slow to contact elected representatives (and appointed officials).

The main point I tried to make and reiterate is that routine inspection and repair of road defects (along with all sorts of other things like street lamps) has been cut back. (I will be more than happy to withdraw that if anybody can show that routine inspections, in terms of frequency per unit of road have not been reduced over recent years.) The speed with which defects reported by the public are repaired is not relevant: if a move is made away from routine inspections, then public reports simply replace, rather than augment the inspection regime, and the highway authority cannot plead it did not know of the defect, if there is a claim.

Reasonableness is always going to be a matter of interpretation but evidence that you do the same as everybody else (and an 'expert' from another authority will come along to back you up) has, IMO led to the present situation where, as I mentioned earlier, on many roads it would be easier to report the smooth bits rather than the defects. No doubt you feel I am exaggerating. Like your comment about hourly inspections, it is hyperbole, but anyone who rides a bike knows I am more or less right. That is why the subject always raises so much steam.