Councilor hits out at ‘terrible, dangerous’ potholes as decision to host Tour of Britain stage on nearby roads ‘ironic’

Following the start of this year’s UCI Cycling World Championships in Scotland they have been inundated with complaints from local cyclists and motorists about the state of the event’s roads, as well as the so-called ‘selective repairs’ carried out in many parts of Glasgow. potholes, it’s now the Tour of Britain’s turn to put the spotlight on concerns about the dire state of the UK’s roads.

With the Tour of Britain set to return to Gloucestershire this year after last year’s stage in the county was canceled following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, local councilors and Cotswolds residents have criticized the decision to host an international cycle race when so many of the roads they use everyday cyclists in the area are in such a “terrible” situation.

The seventh stage of this year’s Tour of Britain, a 171km route that takes riders from the medieval market town of Tewkesbury to Gloucester, will mark the first time Gloucestershire has hosted a full stage of the race, just over a year after the Tour women also visited for the first time.

The stage, which will be held on Saturday 9 September, will cover the rolling hills of the Cotswolds before some nasty, steep climbs in the final 30km could potentially decide the day’s winner and make for exciting racing.

Cees Bol beats Jake Stewart on stage two of last year’s Tour of Britain (Will Palmer/

However, Gloucestershire Live reports that despite the chance to witness some world-class sporting spectacle on the roads of Gloucestershire, with former Tour of Britain winner Wout van Aert eyeing another crack at Britain’s biggest stage race, local Lib Dem councilor Paul Hodgkinson pointed this out. week that the dangerous condition of the potholed roads near where the scene is taking place continues to be neglected by the local authority.

“With the Tour of Britain coming soon through the Cotswolds, it’s ironic that some of the other roads not used by bikes are in a terrible state,” the councilor said.

“Cyclists would be in serious danger if they used them. Roads like the Whiteway between North Cerney and Chedworth are horrendous and have been for centuries.

“Despite the commitment to fix some of these roads, these motorways are a disgrace to us all when tourists experiencing the beauty of the Cotswolds have to wonder what on earth has gone wrong locally.”

> Is there a pothole crisis on Britain’s roads?

Hodgkinson’s comments were echoed by a resident from Chedworth, close to the stage seven route, who earlier this week persuaded the parish council to write to Conservative county council leader Mark Hawthorne to urgently request repair of roads.

“We pay over £30 billion in car and fuel tax and nothing like that is ring-fenced for road maintenance,” Colin Pearce told the parish council. “In Chedworth we have some appalling road conditions which have been allowed to get worse.

“The parish council must stand up for us and insist that these roads are resurfaced, that they need a complete overhaul. We have cyclists and pedestrians injured and damage to cars.

“I call it road rage. It’s a form of road rage and if people don’t realize how bad it is, it’s only going to get worse. We’re supposed to be an area of ​​outstanding natural beauty and tourists coming here must think it’s a third-world country.”

UK tour organizers SweetSpot have been contacted by for comment.

> Anger as ‘dangerous’ potholes repaired on World Championship course while other nearby roads remain ‘abysmal’

It is not the first time Gloucestershire’s roads have come under scrutiny due to the arrival of the Tour of Britain.

Back in 2014, as Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish prepared to take part in the weekly stage race on their home roads, Gloucestershire Highways launched a last-minute plan to repair 35 roads along the fourth stage route, despite the fact that surfaces have received prior approval from race organizers and are deemed to meet national safety standards.

Glasgow Pit Road World Championship 2023 (Liam McReanan)

And, of course, nine years later the seemingly deteriorating condition of the UK’s roads was a common theme ahead of this month’s inaugural UCI Cycling World Championships in Glasgow.

In February we reported that a local cyclist had raised the alarm about a series of “dangerous” potholes along the road race courses, while in June the last-minute pothole “patch” on the course attracted even more criticism after a representative of Tadej Pogačar’s Slovenian team reportedly described Scotland’s roads as the “worst they had ever seen”.

And at the end of July, just days before the start of the championship, politicians, campaigners, the chairman of the taxi association, as well as many locals in Glasgow hit out at the city council over last-minute repair work carried out on roads that formed part of the race track. streets – which they say were built purely to host the match, while others near the city remain “disgusting” and “dangerous”.

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