New data released this week has revealed that there are currently more than 7,000 potholes littering roads across Greater Manchester.
According to research carried out by Manchester-based personal injury specialists at JMW Solicitors, the number of potholes is continuing to cause safety concerns for the growing cycling community and other road users, and the cycling injury team at the law firm used data provided by fixmystreet.com, to uncover that, as of January 2021, there were 7,114 reported open pothole cases in the region.
The top three worst-affected boroughs are the city centre (2,356), Bury (834) and Oldham (751) – and the data suggests that this number will continue to rise in 2021.
The number of reported open pothole cases in Greater Manchester increased by almost 5%, from 6,783 in 2019 to 7,114 in 2020, and the worst-affected region, Manchester city centre, saw an almost 6% increase over the same period, from 2,228 to 2,356.
“Potholes can cause serious, life-altering injuries to road users, in particular cyclists and motorcyclists.” said Nadia Kerr, Head of JMW Solicitors’ Cycling Injury department.
“It is vital that these road defects are repaired to allow road users a smooth journey [as] unlike motorists, cyclists and motorcyclists who come across a pothole cannot simply go through it as this will most likely force them off their bike. Also, they cannot always just swerve around them easily in case they find themselves in the path of traffic.”
Potholes in the region have become so bad that John Whittle – a cyclist from Manchester – was awarded a four-figure payment by Cheshire East Council after his bike hit a large pothole 9cm deep along Mottram Road in Alderley Edge.
He was knocked off his bike, sustaining injuries to his back, side and shoulder.
Mr Whittle said: “I’ve been a cyclist for many years, so I’m used to looking out for potholes given the atrocious state of the roads – this one was filled with water, so I didn’t see it and before I knew it, I was on the ground, having injured my back, side and shoulder. The injuries caused me issues at work for several weeks and were obviously very painful, but it could have been much worse. It’s disappointing that the council took so long to investigate the pothole, putting more people in danger.”
According to JMW, it is the local council’s responsibility to maintain the roads in their area so that cyclists, motorcyclists and other road users can travel safely.
This is a legal obligation as stated in Section 41 of the Highways Act 1980.
“While there has been an increased presence of roadworks repairing potholes whilst roads have been quieter as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, not enough is being done to prevent the number of potholes increasing.” Nadia continued.
“Councils should be conducting regular checks to identify any potential hazards and ensure defects are repaired properly within a reasonable amount of time [and] if the council fails in their duty to maintain and repair roads and pavements, and someone suffers an injury due to a pothole or other road defect, they are entitled to make a claim for the pain and suffering it causes.”
As a keen cyclist and cycling accident solicitor, Nadia waged a nine-month campaign against Manchester City Council about a single pothole to help protect fellow commuters from the road defect.
The pothole – located on Upper Chorlton Road in Manchester – was deep, large and dangerous, which could have resulted in serious harm to a cyclist should they have hit it, and following five complaints, a barrage of social media posts, and a request made under Section 56 of the Highways Act, the pothole was finally filled in.
Since sharing her story on social media, Nadia has been inundated with pothole complaints and cases from concerned commuters.
Nadia continued: “As a concerned member of the public, a campaigner for road safety and active travel, and a cycling accident solicitor, I was determined to keep trying to get this defect filled, but this is just one pothole in one local authority area, and there are thousands more across the region.”
Since JMW started to report on the number of potholes in Greater Manchester in 2018, the overall number of potholes in the region has increased by one third, from 5,341 in 2018 to 7,114 in 2020.
But as Nadia says, “this is [still] not good enough”.
Rashford explains heartbreaking reason behind his celebration after wonder free-kick against Wales
On Tuesday night, Marcus Rashford lit up what had previously been an underwhelming final group game against Wales with what we can only describe as an absolute stunner of a free-kick.
Swapping out his usual knuckleball technique for a whipped but equally fast-paced finish into the top right corner, the 25-year-old wheeled away to celebrate with the travelling fans but not long after, he dropped to his news and pointed to the sky.
While not an entirely uncommon celebration in the world of football, it did seem like a somewhat muted reaction from the Man United forward, especially after such an incredible opening goal.
Speaking to media after the game, it turns out Rashford‘s celebration was dedicated to a close friend who passed away a couple of days prior.
As the Wythenshawe-born star went on to explain, choosing to point to the sky for the celebration was his way of paying tribute to a friend who sadly died following a long battle with cancer.
The joint-leading goalscorer this World Cup went on to say, “I’m pleased I managed to score for him, he’s always been a big supporter of mine. He’s just a great person to have come into my life”. Heartbreaking.
As confirmed by several outlets after the press conference, Rashford’s late friend was Garfield Hayward, a 35-year-old also from Manchester, who is said to have passed away last week.
Nicknamed ‘Garf’, his nephew wrote on social media: “My heart is hurting so much knowing I won’t see you again in this life… it won’t be the same without you being here… You didn’t have a bad bone in your body you would give anything and everything you could with even a single bit of hesitation.” So touching.
It was no wonder Rashford himself was so quick to go and celebrate with his loved ones after the fact.
Rashford made it three goals in as many games at Qatar 2022 following his wonderful free-kick and equally well-worked second goal, with fellow Manc Phil Foden scoring the second goal only seconds after the opener.
England now face Senegal in the Round of 16 and the way these two lads looked on the night, we expect Manchester to be putting on a show come the weekend.
TV doctor Ranj Singh calls out racist joke made at British Curry Awards ceremony
This week, the British Curry Awards held a glitzy black-tie ceremony to celebrate the achievements of the UK’s curry industry.
The prestigious ceremony, also informally known as the ‘Curry Oscars’, takes place every year – seeing a number of awards handed out to the best Asian restaurants across the country.
However, this year’s event was sullied when a white guest presenter made a racist joke on stage, asking: “Why has India never won the World Cup? Because every time they get a corner, they build a shop on it.”
Taking to Twitter after the event last night, TV Doctor and personality Ranj Singh blasted the presenter who made the joke, asking his 174,000 followers “I’m sorry but how is this OK?”
The TV Doctor then went on to release a statement, in which he first said he was “honoured and privileged to be invited as a guest” to the ceremony before continuing to outline why he was ” not the only person that felt uncomfortable tonight.”
Singh asked how the awards ceremony could truly be representing the Asian community fairly when “the host is white, the judging panel is entirely white, the performers on stage are over 90% white”, a racist joke is made on stage, and organisers were “auctioning off a piece by Winston Churchill”, whose relationship with Indian (and Bengali people specifically) is known to have been problematic.
The tweet, shared by Singh on the social media platform last night, has been liked over 1,000 times and retweeted more than 300 at the time of writing.
He then signed off for the evening, writing: “The number of people trying to justify an inappropriate and racist joke on here is saddening. But then again this is Twitter.”
Others have since taken to the platform to agree with Singh, with used David B tweeting: “I couldn’t summarise this better myself.
“The organisers did not consider that #RepresentationMatters – it felt uncomfortable to see so many white people to present, host and judge the awards when there are so many others that could have EASILY represented the community.”
Every year the awards ceremony welcomes a number of high-profile figures, including prominent personalities from the worlds of politics, sport, showbiz and entertainment alongside celebrity chefs and curry restaurant owners and their staff from across the country.
In previous years, attendees have included cricketer Azeem Rafiq, Love Island contestant Priya Gopaldas, and The Apprentice winner Sian Gabbidon.
Following the awards ceremony, organisers have said that an investigation is now under way.