What are you going to do about potholes? Well you could create a garden in them.

Years of under-investment exacerbated by last Winter’s wintery weather has led to a rash of broken road surfaces and potholes. They’re being repaired very slowly with councils trying all sorts of ruses to avoid their legal duty (LAs seem to be year’s ahead of Daz Cameron and his “Over to you, mate: I’ll take the pay cheque whilst simultaneously abdicating responsibility” manifesto).

Potholes can make riding uncomfortable. They can also be dangerous. Often, when riding on the road, you’re faced with the decision of hitting the pothole – risking damage, a crash or both – or trying to avoid it and risk being hit by another road user.

So what to do?

Report it. The relevant highway authority (a bit of a minefield in itself) have a responsibility to maintain the roads. For instance, Surrey’s guidance is outlined here. If you suffer damage or injury, make sure you instigate a claim (see point 9 on the Surrey list). Remember that as a CTC or BC member you probably have legal advice and support as part of your membership package.

Not sure which authority to contact? Not a problem. The CTC have created an easy to use, one stop reporting system at fillthathole.org.uk. You locate the fault on Google maps, describe it and they locate the responsible body and report it. They also keep you up to date with the authority’s response. My personal pothole (actually a broken surface) is here.

Many road races are being lost this season because courses are not safe for use. If your club is organising an event later in the year it’s probably worthwhile formally reporting as many holes as possible to try and get the roads repaired as soon as possible.