CYCLISTS are facing major risk of injury and damage to their bikes and themselves because of potholes on roads, new research has revealed.
The Herald wants to find out the worst roads locally for cyclists – from Bishopbriggs to Kirkintilloch, Lenzie to Lennoxtown and Twechar to Stepps.
The poor condition of the UK highways has been blamed for three deaths this year alone and annually causes over 1,000 injuries to bike riders, as well as thousands of pounds worth of damage to cycles.
Latest figures from national charity Cycle Touring Club show more potholes reported to local councils in the six months since January, than throughout the whole of 2012.
Cycle retailer Halfords backs up these findings after seeing a soaring increase in damaged bikes coming into its branches for repairs.
Potholes are a particular danger to cyclists as they are often at the side of the carriageway where riders cycle. Swerving to avoid the holes is an added danger for cyclists because it causes a sudden movement that motorists may not anticipate.
The peril caused by potholes to cyclists has even led to riders creating their own warning signal, dropping their hand down the side of the bike, so others behind are aware of the potential hazard.
Latest Department of Transport figures reveal that 1,110 out of 13,000 reported cycling accidents included “loss of control”, “swerving” or “sudden braking” as contributory factors.
A British Cycling survey by its members showed that 12 per cent of accidents were caused by a “defective stretch of road”, “spillage” or “obstruction in the cyclist’s path”.
“The danger of coming off of a bike and risking serious injury is all too evident,” says Karen Bellairs, Halfords head of cycles. “The roads should be safe for cyclists and motorists alike. We’re asking The Highway Authority and councils to pay particular attention to repairs at the side of the road where cyclists travel and also cycle paths, which have been the subject of complaint.”
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