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Wife of Martyn Uzzell wants North Yorkshire County Council brought to account

The widow of a cyclist who died after he hit a pothole in North Yorkshire says she plans to sue the county council.

Martyn Uzzell was killed when he hit the pothole on the A65 at Giggleswick while riding from Land’s End to John O’Groats in June 2011. He died after being thrown into the path of an oncoming car.

The inquest into Mr Uzzell’s death heard that police had notified North Yorkshire County Council of the state of the road on May 11 and the council had inspected it on May 13, but taken no action.

North Yorkshire coroner Rob Turnbull said in a narrative verdict at Skipton Coroner’s Court that he had “no doubt whatsoever that the condition of the road on that occasion was the cause of the accident”.

Mr Uzzell’s wife of more than 20 years, Kate, said after the inquest: “It is simply disgraceful that a pothole on such a busy road was allowed to go unrepaired.

“The coroner clearly stated, in his opinion, that the pothole around the gulley is what caused Martyn to be thrown into the path of a car.”

But a Crown Prosecution Service review of the case decided that there were no grounds for criminal prosecution against the council in relation to its alleged failure to repair the pothole.

Now Kate Uzzell feels she has no option but to bring a civil case against the council. She told the BBC: “They had been warned, they had inspected and they still did nothing — it’s just appalling.

“[Suing the council] is not what I wanted to do.

“But I wanted there to be a prosecution and for them to stand up and be counted.”

A council spokeswoman said: “Our sympathies remain with the family of Martyn Uzzell following his tragic fatal accident.”

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.