Cyclists urged to use app to report potholes

Roads minister Robert Goodwill tries the new 'Fill That Hole' smartphone app
Roads minister Robert Goodwill tries the new 'Fill That Hole' smartphone app
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Money to enable more cyclists to report pothole problems through a new smartphone application is being provided by the Government.

Whitehall is giving £30,000 to help cycling charity the Cyclists’ Touring Club (CTC) revamp its Fill That Hole website and develop a new app.

More than nine million iPhone users can download the website’s current app to report potholed roads to their councils. The new app could boost that figure to more than 26 million and is due to be ready in February, at the start of what is termed “pothole season,” when winter damage to roads is at its worst.

Roads Minister Robert Goodwill, in Oldham yesterday to announce the initiative, said: “The Government is serious about tackling potholes. At best they are an irritation but at worst they can damage vehicles and pose a serious danger to cyclists.

“That is why we want people to tell councils where to find them so they can fill them in. This app means more people are going to be able to report potholes more easily.”

Earlier this year the Yorkshire Post revealed how councils in Yorkshire need more than £95m each to patch up the region’s pothole-riddled roads, which motorists have rated the worst in the country.

The estimated cost of bringing the county’s roads back into a reasonable condition includes an average bill of around £24m per local authority to repair last year’s flood damage, the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) found.

Mr Goodwill added: “Filling potholes in quickly is only one half of the story. Research has also shown a long-term approach to road maintenance, rather than patch and mend, can save councils and taxpayers money and potentially save lives thanks to better road conditions.”

Gordon Seabright, CTC chief executive, added yesterday: “CTC has been working to ensure roads are safe for cycling since our foundation in 1878. We are delighted to have the Government’s support.”

The Department for Transport said the Government has provided more than £3bn to authorities in England, excluding London, between 2011/12 and 2015/16, plus an additional £200m in 2011 following the severe winter.

In June, the Department or Transport announced a further £5.8bn for local highways maintenance.