Repairs to potholes on a section of road in Surrey where a cyclist suffered substantial injuries have been postponed until October after the road deteriorated to a point where it now needs major resurfacing.
Tony Webber went over the bars when he hit a pothole on Stoughton Road, Guildford last month. He sustained a broken and split nose, and a fractured eye socket. His teeth were pushed through his lips by the force of the impact, and lost skin on his arms and legs.
He is still waiting to hear from the council about his claim for damages.
He said: “I wrote to the council saying I would be making a claim and lodged it the day I got out of hospital.
“I haven’t had a response.”
The group of potholes that Webber hit have since been repaired, but the rest of Stoughton Road has deteriorated to the point where it cannot be resurfaced until October, according to Andre Langlois of GetSurrey.
Road "completely failed"
Pauline Searle, county councillor for Guildford North said she had been told by highways officers that the necessary repairs were now so major it would take six months before they could be undertaken.
She said: “My understanding was that it would be done in spring so it would be one of the first ones.
“I chased and they said they had no date and I chased again and they said it was a major job because the road has completely failed and it would take six months.
“That was, word for word, what they told me. I was told it would have to go on the major road repairs list.”
She said she had been told that the repairs would cost £200,000.
A Surrey County Council spokesman could not confirm that cost estimate, but said it was believed that the road’s concrete base was sound.
“This will need a standard concrete treatment to seal the joints, before adding a resurfacing layer over the concrete,” he said.
“This work is currently scheduled for October.”
"I don't want to ride"
Tony Webber said he was pleased that the particular potholes that had damaged him and his bike had been filled in, but the time and effort spent patching up holes could be used to do permanent repairs on entire roads.
Unfortunately, the experience has put him off riding.
He said: “As pathetic as it seems, I don’t want to ride a bike at the moment. I used to enjoy a little bike ride but I don’t want to do it now.”
Fill that hole
Spotted a gaping chasm that needs repair work? CTC’s Fill That Hole iPhone app, given £30,000 in funding by the DfT in December to go towards a revamp and development of an Android version, allows cyclists and other road users to highlight defects that need remedying to the relevant local authority.
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.