UK's big freeze creates thousands of potholes

And the worst isn't over yet...

Reports have been flooding in of thousands of new potholes following the recent cold snap in the UK.

The Fill That Hole pothole reporting site run by national cyclists' organisation CTC has had its busiest ever month.

The contraction and expansion of ice on the roads has caused widespread damage. The rain-lashed months of February and March are normally the worst for potholes, so CTC expect the state of the roads to further deteriorate.

Some estimates put the total cost of repairs at £100 million. Scores of local councils and police forces have issued pothole warnings as well as the AA.

"Potholes are widespread pretty much everywhere that has had the cold and frost," said Paul Watters, head of roads policy at the AA. "It's inevitable it will happen but having it early in the winter makes the problem worse...

"We've had the vicious cold for so long it has seeped right into the foundations of the roads. This just adds to the massive backlog of £1 billion of repairs that need doing and most authorities have a backlog of years."

Users of www.fillthathole.org.uk can report potholes, view hazards reported by others and see a league table of local authorities, ranked by percentage of potholes reported fixed. The site can be useful for anyone trying to pursue a claim for damages.

CTC member Kenneth Atkinson recently secured an out-of-court settlement of £6,250 from Kent County Council after a pothole caused him to be thrown from his bike, resulting in a dislocated shoulder.

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