Pothole campaigner warns Banburyshire roads are 'not fit for purpose' ahead of women's cycle tour next month

National roads campaigner Mr Pothole says roads are 'not fit for purpose' ahead of the women's cycle tour which is due to speed through the Banbury area next month.

By Roseanne Edwards
Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 11:08 am
Updated Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 11:11 am

Brackley's Mark Morrell - known across Britain as Mr Pothole - warned about the dangers of potholes and bad road surfaces that were said to have caused top rider, race leader and former world champion Marianne Vos to crash out of her 2019 OVO Energy Women’s Tour 2019 challenge.

Vos was one of six riders who reportedly came off their bikes on Hadden Hill, Didcot because of 'a hole in the way'.

Mr Morrell said: "Potholes can be lethal to cyclists or cause serious injuries. The current risk assessments inspections by highways authorities don't do nearly enough to protect those on two wheels.

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Mr Pothole, Mark Morrell, showing how deep and dangerous potholes can be in roads that have been neglected because of funding cuts

"Authorities are encouraging more use of bikes for health and environmental reasons. However many of of our roads our not fit for purpose anymore. Lack of decades of investment in good quality maintenance is coming home to roost.

"Government cut £400 million from this year's annual roads maintenance budget to local authorities at a time when cyclists' numbers have increased and carriageways are getting worse. There is a complete lack of joined-up thinking in my opinion."

An Oxfordshire County Council spokesman told the Banbury Guardian: "The race organiser, SweetSpot, has worked closely with Oxfordshire County Council, inspecting the route. The council’s highways team has carried out several inspections of the route over the past couple of months. Any necessary repair work has been identified and will be completed ahead of race day.

"SweetSpot’s own inspector and the council will check the route prior to race day and again 45 minutes ahead of the race. This is a road race and the riders are aware that surface conditions vary depending on the type of road and as a result of any adverse weather, such as heavy rain."

The women's cycle tour will speed through the Banbury area early next month

The Banbury Guardian announced the official tour route in July.

More information about the race as it goes through Oxfordshire can be found on this dedicated web page.

A dangerous pothole in the Banbury area. Organisers say they will inspect the route and fix any dangerous surfaces