Big hole strikes again (with apologies to The Smiths)
On Monday 30th June, Love Your Bike and Manchester Cycling Lab are inviting people to a Pothole Party to celebrate the end of a fantastic BikeMonthMcr and to encourage people to help make cycling a little more comfortable by reporting potholes to Manchester council. 
People are being encouraged to go on a Pothole Safari to photograph creative potholes (funny shapes or decorations), bad potholes (ones you never want to cycle over again) as well as other road hazards. Photographs can be submitted by Twitter or email before 6pm on Monday 30th June or by bike at the Pothole Party. There will be a photo competition for each category and £25 gift voucher prizes up for grabs. 
The photographs can also have a real impact. For example, the “bad pothole” and hazard photographs in Manchester will be forwarded to Manchester City Council‘s Minor Improvement Scheme fund, which has a budget of £50,000 to improve cycle lanes, signage and junctions.
The Pothole Party will start with the After Work Pothole Cinema and then the Pothole Award Ceremony for best photographs in each of the categories.
Gabriele Schliwa, Manchester Cycling Lab co-ordinator said: “Road maintenance was identified as a major issue in our ‘Cycling in Manchester – Your Needs and Ideas’ survey. Manchester Cycling Lab is pleased to use a fun event to help improve the cycling experience in Manchester.”
Graeme Sherriff, Manchester Friends of the Earth sustainable transport campaign co-ordinator said: “Our pothole party is a fun way to raise a serious issue. We welcome the council’s initiative to make a fund available to address problems on the roads and would encourage all people cycling in Manchester to report the potholes that have been annoying them.”
But with the Local Government Association estimating that there is a £10.5 billion backlog of potholes and road repairs in England & Wales that there is a urgent need for higher levels of government funding to fix our roads and pavements to be safe for pedestrians and people cycling.
BikeMonthMcr was co-ordinated by Love Your Bike, and supported by Manchester City Council, and aimed to encourage more people to give cycling a go. The Bike-tastic month of cycling events got off to a rolling start with the Bolton Sky Ride and comes to a halt with the Pothole Party on Monday 30th June. With over 300 events for all ages and abilities in between, including the Greater Manchester Cycle on a car free Mancunian Way on Sunday June 29, everyone could enjoy cycling over the month. 
As part of BikeMonthMcr, Love Your Bike organised the Big Commute Challenge which saw Sir Richard Leese, Manchester City Council leader cycle to work as part of a challenge to see whether the bike, bus, car or tram was quicker, cheaper and better for your waistline! 
Love Your Bike also co-ordinated the ‘Bicycle Bloc’ which celebrated the Manchester Day Parade theme of ‘Going Global’ by building a giant ‘Dutch’ bicycle to celebrate the plans to “Go Dutch” with separated and safe cycle routes on Oxford Road and across Greater Manchester with the Velocity 2025 plans.
CONTACTS FOR COMMENTS
Pete Abel, Love Your Bike campaign. Mobile: 07951 642858
Graeme Sherriff, Manchester Friends of the Earth, transport campaign co-ordinator. Mobile: 07948 405071
Notes to Editors:
 Join our photo competition and take the opportunity to improve your daily cycling commute! Be in with the chance to win a £25 gift voucher when you send a picture taken in Manchester from one of the following categories to gabriele.schliwa@manchester.
a) Creative Pothole – Funny shapes or decorations!
b) Bad Pothole – You never want to cycle over it again!
c) Hazard – Anything else that you would like to wave goodbye to on the road? e.g. wrong signage, poor lining & junctions
 LGA response to Budget funding for potholes 19th March 2014.
 For the full list of 300+ BikeMonthMcr events see the calendar section at www.bikemonthmcr.org Events include bike jumble sales, free adult cycle training and bike maintenance sessions, great bike rides and a giant bike in the Manchester Day parade. There are bike events suitable for all ages and all abilities
 Bikes, tram, bus and car battle it out in the Big Commute – and the bike wins. Manchester Evening News
 Love Your Bike is an award winning Manchester based campaign aiming to promote cycling and help make it an even more attractive, accessible and fun way to get around. Co-ordinated by Manchester Friends of the Earth, the campaign works in partnership with other like-minded organisations. See www.loveyourbike.org
 The goal of the Manchester Cycling Lab is to turn Manchester into a real-life laboratory for the study of cycling. This involves working in collaboration with Manchester City Council, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and local businesses to identify the gaps in knowledge that need to be filled in order to facilitate the Velocity programme and transform Manchester into a cycling city. Understanding user and stakeholder needs is central to this approach in order to develop a complementary programme of applied research projects that support a cycling transition while harnessing the knowledge and capacity of the University. See http://universitylivinglab.