£16.3bn is needed to deal with the pothole issue on Britain’s roads

A black Dawes Galaxy touring bike with red bar tape is propped against a curb with the front wheel in a pothole
This is the 29th year the ALARM survey has been conducted, with 72% of authorities responsible for local roads in England and Wales responding

The Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) conducts the Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey annually. It gathers insights from local authority highway departments across England and Wales. The ALARM report provides crucial data on the funding and conditions of the local road network.

The latest ALARM 2024 findings reveal concerning trends:

  • Over half of the local road network has 15 years or less of structural life remaining
  • A record £16.3bn is needed to address the backlog of carriageway repairs in England and Wales, the highest it’s been in 29 years

This highlights the urgent need for investment and action to maintain our essential road infrastructure.

Potholes can be deadly for cyclists

Damaged road surfaces pose a significant risk to cyclists, who bear a disproportionate burden of the consequences. Our legal services team handles cases where up to 15% of cyclist injuries result from crashes caused by road defects.

Over the past seven years, we have recorded at least 255 cases of serious injury or death resulting from road defects. However, the true extent of injuries is likely underestimated, as these figures solely account for incidents reported to the police.

In 2023, 84-year-old Harry Colledge died after his bicycle hit a pothole. Harry was cycling on Island Lane near the village of Winmarleigh, Lancashire, when his bicycle wheel was trapped in a reported 87m-long crack causing him to crash. This crack had been visible on Google Street View for 14 years and was known to Lancashire County Council.

Fill That Hole

This latest report from the Asphalt Industry Alliance demonstrates the need of our Fill That Hole website. With the current state of Britain’s roads it’s even more important to report road defects to councils as soon as you come across them.

Reports via the website go directly to the relevant highway authority, which has a legal responsibility to check and repair where necessary.

If the authority fails to take action, these reports can help others in the future should they need to claim for damage or injury against the council if that road defect hasn’t been fixed.

Reporting the defect increases the chances that the council will fix it, because they can’t claim not to have known about it.

The updated Fill That Hole tool was made possible by funding and support from law firm Fletchers Cycle SOS.