The family of 83-year-old Roger Hamer, who died after hitting a pothole on his bike in Ramsbottom three years ago, have accused Bury Council of ‘wriggling out’ of paying compensation and brushing the matter under the carpet.
Hamer crashed on Bury New Road in March 2016 and died of head injuries in hospital a month later.
Although no witnesses saw what caused him to fall, at least one local had previously reported a road defect at the spot. The coroner concluded that one pothole “possibly contributed” and another “probably did contribute.”
The inquest heard that local residents had frequently complained about the state of the road, including the number of potholes.
However, The Lancashire Telegraph reports that Hamer’s family say the council will not accept any liability for the incident.
Hamer’s daughter, Ruth Topping, said the local authority had refused several settlement offers and if the family wants to pursue the matter, it would have to be taken to criminal court.
“The solicitors don’t feel confident to take it to criminal court. As far as I’m concerned they’ve wriggled out of it and brushed it under the carpet,” she said.
Topping said that the council regularly paid out to drivers whose cars were damaged by pot holes before they were resurfaced following her father’s death.
“These roads were absolutely appalling. The potholes were so deep. The only thing anybody talked about at the time was potholes. These roads were neglect ed.
“It was a culture in Ramsbottom that you could just put a claim in and they didn’t even investigate it. They just paid it. My grievance is that they could pay out for the cars but they can’t pay compensation for my dad.”