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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Chris Hoy supports AI pothole campaign

DEALING with the UK’s pothole crisis is key to getting more people cycling to work and school, for pleasure and even as a profession, according to Sir Chris Hoy, who earlier this month helped launch Aggregate Industries’ campaign for better long-term road maintenance.

‘A lot of people lack the confidence to ride their bikes in and around urban areas, not just because of the traffic but because of poor road surfaces,’ he said. ‘Aggregate Industries are looking at not just the short-term problem with potholes, but raising awareness of the need to improve road surfaces long term. This in turn will make it safer and give cyclists more confidence.

‘The more people we can get on bikes the better, meaning less congestion, improving health and fitness and many other spin-offs. If you spot a pothole, get in touch with your local authority or visit www.fillthathole.org.uk’.

Currently, there is a £1 billion shortfall in road maintenance budgets across England and Wales. Last year 1.4 million potholes were reported across the two countries and while £100million has been spent on repairs so far, this has only involved patching.

With Alistair Darling’s £100 million Budget pledge to fill potholes being nowhere near the estimated £9.5 billion needed to bring the country's roads up to standard, Aggregate Industries are championing a new approach to planning, design, materials and ongoing maintenance.

Mike Archer, national contracting director at the company’s Bardon Contracting business, said: ‘The state of our roads is countering many of the current initiatives to get more people on to bikes. Whether this is cycling to work or school, cycling for fun, keeping fit, or even cycling professionally, until there is a better environment for cyclists, many people will simply be deterred from riding a bike.

‘We want to encourage cyclists and would-be cyclists to help us get more funds diverted to road maintenance.’

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