£5000 for cyclist who crashed into roadworks sign in cycle lane

Poole council workmen had placed obstacle in cycle lane

by Mark Appleton   February 15, 2011  

Borough of Poole.jpg

A Bournemouth cyclist who suffered multiple injuries after he rode into a temporary roadworks sign which council workers has placed on a cycle path has been awarded £5000 in compensation reports the Bournemouth Echo.

Roger Excell gashed his elbow and tore tendons and muscles after he collided with the sign in August 2007. When his head hit the ground in the accident, his crash helmet split in two as a result of which he subsequently underwent a precautionary brain scan. Mr Excell was off work for a week and needed to use a zimmer frame and then walking sticks for many more weeks.

He said the unlit sign was blocking the cycle path as he rode to work in the rain at around 5.15am and maintained that despite using a light he did not see the obstruction until it was too late.

Mr Excell told the Echo: “The money side of it doesn’t really bother me. I just wanted Poole council to be punished by the court and the judge made it extremely clear that they have to protect cyclists and other path users.”

The Borough of Poole was also ordered to pay £8,099 in costs.
 

9 user comments

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I get really anoyed that the cycle path (or lane) is always the default option for putting roadworks signs.
Prehaps this case might make council start to check where their workers put signs and what thy are blocking.

posted by thereverent [295 posts]
15th February 2011 - 17:01

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It would be interesting to know how be cycled into the sign...how did he miss it?

I'm not saying the claim isn't justified, as I am sure it is, and it is annoying to see road work signs blocking the pavement/cycle paths. Just be interested to know a bit more Smile

posted by thomase [16 posts]
15th February 2011 - 18:54

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Ive nearly rode into a 'works' sign before. The cyclepath i use runs alongside a dual carriage way with a metal fence between the two. The sign was one of the large MERGE ones and was facing away from me (on the way to work), on the back there is no reflective surface and even with my very good lights it didnt stand out.. and this sign was BIG, so big infact i had to get off and climb round it through a bush! Thankfully it was only there a day or so a some considerate person (path frequented by many runners/walkers/cyclists) pushed it into the bush and the contractors moved it to a sensible location not long after.

So yes, im not suprised he rode into it.

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posted by STATO [409 posts]
15th February 2011 - 19:13

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There's a new type of works sign spotted around here sometimes that has only one substantial central leg and the back of the sign is... You guessed it: rough black plastic! Sad What morons designed, bought and used that?

posted by a.jumper [679 posts]
15th February 2011 - 19:49

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i guess if you use "legal" never-ready type bike lights in the dark you don't get alot of warning, and if your not fully awake your less likely to react when something appears in front of you, so, an accident waiting to happen.

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posted by mrmo [1007 posts]
15th February 2011 - 20:15

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mrmo wrote:
i guess if you use "legal" never-ready type bike lights in the dark you don't get alot of warning, and if your not fully awake your less likely to react when something appears in front of you, so, an accident waiting to happen.

When i nearly rode into the one i described above i was using a Lunicycle Halogen, a better light than most. The problem is the dull grey metal colour of the sign was the same as the night sky behind it and reflected the same as the railings it was hising infront of, so almost invisable. Thankfully i try to not ride faster than i can see clearly (or than i an awake!) so i spotted it and stopped in time.

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posted by STATO [409 posts]
16th February 2011 - 9:28

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mrmo, we don't know what lights Mr Excell was using but I'm sure the court will have taken that in to account. The point here is that is was a stupid place to leave an unlit sign which is why he won damaged and costs.

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posted by Denzil Dexter [140 posts]
16th February 2011 - 9:44

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Pedestrians also get a bad deal and Police do nothing to prosecute for a) the obstruction and b) the failure to comply with the law on placing of signs for road works. Handy little book describes 'Chapter 8' and this spells out what has to be done. All road works should have a sign with the ciontact details of the person responsible all works on general purpose roads should provide safe routes for all traffic. There are nowhere near enough prosecutions or warnings for failings here. Only when someone died crashing in to an unmarked pile of rubble dropped in the road did British Gas suddenly get really hot on their contractors putting up the full and correct signage.

Surely signs for motorised traffic road works should not block other traffic and should be placed on the carriageway or a place that does not obstruct other traffic. If I see something blocking the passage of traffic should I remove it?

A pedestrian barrier was knocked down by a motor vehicle a while back and for over a month it lay across almost the full width of the footway - eventually we pushed it to the edge of the footway and it stuck slightly out into the 2-lanes of the dual carriageway - it was lifted within a couple of hours - speaks volumes for the priorites in the local roads authority

47 years of breaking bikes and still they offer me a 10 year frame warranty!

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posted by A V Lowe [468 posts]
16th February 2011 - 9:50

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A V Lowe wrote:
Surely signs for motorised traffic road works should not block other traffic and should be placed on the carriageway or a place that does not obstruct other traffic. If I see something blocking the passage of traffic should I remove it?

I believe it is actually illegal for a member of the public to place obstacles or signage on the carriage way to direct the flow of traffic. So only contractors or police etc. can move signage (i think, not sure on the details).

Best bet would be ring the local police station and report it, or the council (if you dont mind waiting a week for them to turn up).

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posted by STATO [409 posts]
16th February 2011 - 10:24

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