The Department does not collect data on the cause of road accidents, or on potholes in road accidents specifically.
Contributory factors assigned by police officers do not assign blame for the accident to any specific road user, however they do provide some insight into why and how road accidents occur. They give an indication of which factors the attending officer thought contributed to the accident. Officers do not need to carry out a full investigation of the incident before allocating contributory factors; they usually use professional judgement about what they can see at the scene.
For each year where contributory factors data is available (2005 to 2017), the number of reported pedal cyclist fatalities in England where a contributory factor of ‘poor or defective road surface’ was reported in the accident is provided in the table. There were no pedal cyclist fatalities in Coventry in accidents where this contributory factor was recorded for the years 2005 to 2017.
Reported pedal cyclist fatalities where 'Poor or defective road surface' reported as a contributory factor in the accident, England, 2005 to 2017
Source: DfT STATS19
Not all accidents are included in the contributory factor data; only accidents where the police attended the scene and reported at least one contributory factor are included. A total of 72 per cent of accidents reported to the police in 2017 in Great Britain met these criteria
Advice about potholes is available to local highway authorities through the UK Roads Liaison Group Code of Practice, “Well Managed Highway Infrastructure”. This Code provides guidance to highway authorities on maintaining and managing their highways for all road users.
The Code refers to other advice, including the Pothole Review report published in 2012, which provides guidance on areas including preventative maintenance and delivering “right first time” pothole repairs. This Report was endorsed by a number of organisations, including the Cyclists’ Touring Club, now Cycling UK and refers to the needs of cyclists when considering maintenance requirements. The Review report recommends that authorities consider the guidance provided in the ADEPT report, “Potholes and Repair Techniques for Local Highways” and adopt as appropriate to their local circumstances using a risk based approach which should take account of the need of cyclists.