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Six-figure settlement for widow of pothole death cyclist

N Yorkshire CC settles with Kate Uzzell whose husband Martyn was killed during Land’s End to John O’Groats ride

The widow of a cyclist killed during a charity ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats after he was thrown from his bike into the path of a car when he hit a pothole has reached a six-figure settlement with the local authority responsible for maintaining the road.

Martyn Uzzell from Cleveden, Somerset, aged 51, was killed instantly in the incident on the A65 Settle Bypass at Giggleswick, North Yorkshire in June 2011.

A coroner’s inquest last year concluded that there was “no doubt whatsoever” that a 10cm pothole surrounding a drain cover was the cause of the fatal crash.

The victim’s wife Kate, to whom he had been married for more than 20 years, brought a civil action against North Yorkshire County Council, which had been notified of the defect by police five weeks before Mr Uzzell’s death, but took no action to repair it.

According to BBC News, the council has reached a settlement with Mrs Uzzell to avoid “prolonged involvement in further litigation.”

While the local authority said it "accepts no liability for the tragic death of Mr Uzzell", it acknowledged that the case was "a sensitive matter."

Following Mr Uzzell’s death, the Crown Prosecution Service decided it was unable to bring a criminal prosecution against the council in respect of its alleged failure to repair the pothole.

When she revealed in March last year that she was launching a civil action against the local authority, Mrs Uzzell said: “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,” she added.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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