An Essex cyclist who had emergency surgery after hitting a pothole two years ago says it is “infuriating” that the repairs haven’t lasted as long as the legal process.
Luke Millward, 40, was cycling along Audley End Road in March 2017, when he hit the pothole and came off his bike. He fractured his left and right elbows and broke his left wrist.
The county council accepted liability and repaired the road within a few days, but the legal process is still ongoing.
The pothole – which is on the pedestrian crossing outside Saffron Walden County High School – has since reappeared.
Millward told the Saffron Walden Reporter: “This has been a long process and a bit of a challenge. I was off work for a month and the long-term impact is ongoing. It’s infuriating that I nearly ended my career because of that accident and the pothole has returned and hasn’t been fixed yet.
“It’s not fair that people’s livelihoods are at risk. We pay a lot of tax here and they are not taking the state of the roads seriously – people’s cars are being damaged, people are having accidents.”
Millward is to be assessed by a medical professional in March – two years after the accident – to gauge whether there has been any long-term damage.
“I am still having trouble with my wrist and as a physiotherapist, I will be using my wrist for another 20 years at least,” he said. “Am I going to have to end my career early? That will have a big knock-on effect on my family. It’s not fair.”
A spokesman for Essex Highways said: “This pothole has been previously repaired and we are aware of it. It has been inspected and it will be regularly monitored to see if it has worsened. We will next be inspecting Audley End Road in February. We may take further action to repair it again if it shows signs of significant deterioration.”
Britain’s pothole problem is worsening according to recent data from the RAC. The organisation says that more than half a million were reported to local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales during 2017, an increase of 44 per cent over the figure two years earlier.
Cycling UK says that cuts to maintenance budgets for minor roads mean potholes are now costing the economy £2.04bn a year.