Injured cyclist plans to sue council over potholes

Derbyshire man reported the pothole but then contacted a law firm after seeing that no action had been taken

A Derbyshire cyclist who was left with concussion, a broken elbow and a fractured cheekbone after falling from his bike when he hit a pothole is planning to take legal action against the council. Chris Clay, who cycled over the large pothole while in Dalbury Lees, could not drive for two months and was also unable to work for a period.

The Derby Telegraph reports that Clay is working with solicitors Slater and Gordon in a bid to claim compensation from Derbyshire County Council.

"I was cycling and, then all of a sudden, I went flying. The friend I was with had to call an ambulance and I was taken to hospital. It knocked me out for a while and I had no idea what was going on. I was in great pain and knew this was more than just minor injuries."

Clay says that he reported the pothole to the council, but no action was taken and so he subsequently contacted the law firm.

"There are potholes all over the place. Something needs to be done about it. This is a big problem in the county and the city and I know it's something which really irritates people.

"I class myself as being lucky. Although what I've suffered was bad, I know it could have been worse. Potholes are dangerous. This proves that. I would hate to see somebody go through the same thing or worse."

CTC, the national cycling charity, recently said that delays in fixing potholes are a contributory factor in increasing numbers of cyclists being killed or seriously injured on British roads.

CTC's FillThatHole.org.uk website allows cyclists to log problem roads and is then updated when councils or cyclists report that a defect has been fixed. In some areas, only three per cent of damaged roads reported by CTC were said to have been repaired. The organisation says that 17 councils fixed only 1 in 10 problem roads while the majority (168) repaired less than half.

Peter Box, Transport Spokesman for the Local Government Association, said that while councils fixed more potholes than ever before last year, current funding levels mean they are only able to carry out patching and filling rather than more cost-effective long-term improvements.

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