National charity Cycling UK has expressed its alarm at a 'steadily worsening trend' of casualties after the latest figures showed that 64 cyclists were killed or seriously injured in one year in accidents attributable to potholes.
The new data from the Department for Transport (DfT) shows that between 2007 and 2016, a total of 22 cyclists died and 368 were seriously injured where poorly maintained roads could be considered to be a contributory factor.
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In 2015 a total of 46 cyclists were killed and seriously injured (KSI) as a result of poor road surfaces, while there were 17 such KSIs in 2007.
The figures were published in response to a parliamentary question submitted by Catherine West MP.
Sam Jones, Cycling UK's senior campaigns officer, said: ‘Cycling UK is incredibly concerned to see what is clearly a trend on the up showing more people being killed or seriously injured while cycling, all because our roads are in a shocking state.
‘Unfortunately for cyclists if they hit a pothole, then it’s not just a costly repair bill but also a strong possibility of personal injury or in the worst cases death.
‘It’s clear the UK has a pothole problem and it won’t be cheap to fix, but given the cost to human life, the country is not investing enough.’
The casualty figures issued by the DfT rely upon STATS19, a reporting mechanism based on incidents recorded by police forces. The cycling charity said it believes the statistics will only present a snapshot of the problem caused by potholes, as not all cyclists will report their injuries to the police.
The charity also said out that while local and regional roads are ‘falling into a state of disrepair due to inadequate national funding’, the Government is investing £15bn in motorways and trunk roads up till 2020.
Mr Jones said: ‘Cycling UK wants to see the Government adopt a fix it first policy. Let’s mend the roads everyone uses every day before spending money on building new motorways and trunk roads.’