Sep 052011
 
Residents to fight pothole law

UK cycle organisation, The Cyclists’ Defence Fund, is pursuing legal action against Sheffield City Council over the condition of some roads in the Peak District.

The Fund has served a notice on Sheffield City Council’s highway department over routes which it considers to be out of repair.

The Cyclists’ Defence Fund action is being brought by one of its trustees’ Martyn Bolt. Martyn said in some place of the Strines Moor area of the Peak District it was impossible to cycle without hitting a pothole.

Cycling routes around the area link the A616 from Langsett to the A57 at Ladybower and is popular with cyclists. The roads around Strines Moor have been used in the Tour of Britain in previous occasions and is Sheffield City Council’s responsibility.

Road safety fears

Martyn told the South Yorkshire Times newspaper that with gradients up to one in four on the route the Cyclists’ Defence Fund feared for road users’ safety in the area.

“This is not a request solely for cyclists but also motor cyclists, and car drivers who use Strines.”

No response to requests

Martyn has contacted the council through the CTC’s FillThatHole.org.uk website about the condition of the road but requests had failed to bring any response from Sheffield City Council and so approached them directly, again with little luck.

The Highways department has since said it will only repair potholes when they are more than 20mm deep and only in locations which “could be considered to be hazardous”.

Little known law

The Cyclists’ Defence Fund and Mr Bolt is launching the action using section 56 of the Highways Act 1980, under which anyone can ask that the highway authority takes action on a road that is ‘out of repair.’

The Council is understood to have four months to take remedial action on the roads mentioned in the action or it may face a Magistrates court hearing.

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