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The government has backed a campaign to help road users point out potholes to local councils.
Whereas previously members of the public would have to call a helpline or write an email to a regional highway authority if they thought action should be taken to fix a hole in the road, this process will now be eased with a cash boost for a mobile phone app.
Ministers have given £30,000 to the National Cycling Charity (CTC), which is developing an Android version of the software to help reduce the number of cycling injuries caused by potholes.
More than nine million iPhone users have access to the app in its current form but if the CTC manages to release a Google-friendly version for the market, this will rise to 26 million, almost half of the UK's population.
The application is expected to be released by February, in time for what industry specialists call the "pothole season", as roads are in particularly poor condition after weeks of ice and snow take their toll.
Roads minister Robert Goodwill reiterated the government's commitment to tackling the pothole problem and acknowledged they can endanger the lives of cyclists, especially on roads popular with commuters.
"This app means more people are going to be able to report potholes more easily. Filling potholes in quickly is only one half of the story," Mr Goodwin added.
"Research has also shown a long-term approach to road maintenance, rather than patch and mend, can save councils and taxpayers money and potentially save lives thanks to better road conditions."
In the past year some £23.8 million was paid in compensation to people involved in road accidents across the UK that had either personal injuries or vehicular damage stemming from potholes and the central government wants local authorities to try harder to tackle this issue.
To do its part in improving the state of roads around the UK, the coalition promised a funding increase of £163 million for the nation's highways until 2021, although it is unclear if this will be enshrined in law.
Posted by Francesca Witney
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