Nottingham

Pothole warning for Nottinghamshire cyclists

Cyclist avoids a pothole on Mansfield Road, Nottingham
Image caption Potholes have been blamed on the harsh winter

A cycling pressure group has warned about the dangers of potholes on Nottinghamshire's roads.

Hugh McLintock, from campaign group Pedals, said: "Cyclists are particularly vulnerable, more than cars."

He added: "Because of the scale of potholes and financial cutbacks it's less likely than normal that the potholes will promptly be attended to."

Potholes are created when water freezes and expands in cracks in the road.

Over the past three years, Nottinghamshire County Council has paid out more than £53,000 in compensation claims to individuals over potholes and highways maintenance, BBC research has revealed.

But in spite of cutting its highways budget from £28.7m in 2010/11 to £22.1m for 2011/12, a spokesman said there was "sufficient money to keep the network safe".

Mr McLintock said this winter's bad weather conditions had resulted in "a plague of potholes".

"It's very important cyclists report [potholes] to the local authority so that action is taken."

He warned motorists had to be more careful than ever with cyclists, until dangerous potholes were dealt with.

Bryan Steel, a Nottingham-born, two-time Olympic cycling medallist, said the dangers of potholes were very real.

"As you can guess, one minute you are riding and the next you will be on the floor," said Mr Steel.

"I know several cyclists who have been badly hurt this way but myself, I have only had a few cut and bruises."

Last week, the government said it would be putting aside £100m for councils to bid if they felt they had been badly hit by potholes.

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