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”.
Bernardo Silva refused to speak to Bruno Fernandes during the FA Cup final
The first-ever Manchester Derby FA Cup final in history was always going to be an acrimonious affair, but one flare-up fans might not have expected came between midfielders Bruno Fernandes and Bernardo Silva.
Man City took one step closer to winning the treble on Saturday — a feat which would see them equal United’s treasured achievement in 1999 — but at half-time, Bernardo Silva’s derby day mentality was well and truly locked in as the two Portuguese players had a little spat on the pitch.
With the United captain walking up to share a few words with his international teammate as they went to walk down the tunnel, City’s number 20 had no interest in chatting with his compatriot.
In fact, in a moment picked up by the cameras on the day, Bernardo not only did his best to ignore Bruno but even shoved him away when his opposite numbers tried to get his attention.
That’s an icy blue cold shoulder if we’ve ever seen one.
Moreover, while Fernandes has previously insisted he has “a great relationship with Bernardo” and that the two share regular WhatsApp messages throughout the season, he did admit ahead of that game they “normally don’t speak” until after the full-time whistle these days.
That being said, it would seem only Silva got the derby day memo this time around and, much like City have been on the pitch for a good five or six seasons now, he chose to remain ruthless and quite literally push his friendship to the side.
Although seeing rival players (often fellow countrymen or ex-teammates) greeting and hugging each other before, during and after a game is much more commonplace these days, it’s still one that split opinion — especially if you’re Roy Keane.
The United legend has previously slammed a number of players from his former club for being far too friendly in the tunnel before going up against each other — including in a Manchester derby not long ago — stating that they need to “cut that” and “just get down the tunnel”.
Nevertheless, it looks as though the more cutthroat attitude helped the Blues on the day, scoring within 13 seconds to set the tone for the rest of the game.
Pep Guardiola‘s side now only needs to win one more game, the Champions League final against Inter Milan this weekend, to do the treble and put themselves even deeper into the history books than they already are. Either way, many already believe Pep will go down as the greatest of all time.
Holly Willoughby delivers honest and emotional statement addressing Phillip Schofield scandal on This Morning return
Holly Willoughby has officially addressed the ongoing Phillip Schofield scandal on her return to This Morning on Monday.
Making her first appearance since the pair both dropped off the show following Schofield’s admission that he had a relationship with a younger man who worked on the show, his former co-presenter jumped straight into the issue at the top of the show.
“Firstly, are you OK? I hope so. It feels very strange sitting here without Phil and I know that you might be feeling a lot like I have: shaken, troubled, let down, worried for the wellbeing on all sides of what’s been going on, and have lots of questions.
“You, me and all of us at This Morning gave our love and support to someone who was not telling the truth, who acted in a way that they themselves felt they had to resign from ITV and step down from a career they loved. That is a lot to process and it’s equally hard to see the toll that has taken on their own mental health.”
The 42-year-old went on to say, “I think what unites us all now is a desire to heal for the health and wellbeing of everyone. I hope that as we start this new chapter and get back to a place of warmth and magic that this show holds for all of us, we can find strength in each other.
“From my heart, can I just say thank you for all your kind messages and thank you for being here this morning. Myself, Josie, Dermot, Alison, Craig and everyone who works on this show will continue to work hard every single day to bring you the show that we love.”
Stand-in host Josie Gibson then hugged Holly and said: “All we can do now is be the family that we are”.
After making it through the statement, Holly and Josie then jumped back into the regularly scheduled programming as usual.
As for the scandal itself, Schofield recently gave an exclusive interview with the BBC admitting that his “career is over” and had “suicidal thoughts” after the story broke, as well as insisting that he hasn’t spoken with Holly since apart from sending her an apology via text following his own statement.
The 61-year-old continues to deny allegations that he groomed the man he maintained a relationship with for a number of years but ITV has stated that they are continuing to investigate the situation following his resignation.