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Cyclist Thrown From Bike Wins Battle For Justice

Warnings After Recent Cold Snap Will Mean More Damage To Roads


A man who suffered arm injuries and required a tooth extracting when he was thrown from his bicycle as the wheel got stuck in a pothole has warned others to beware of the state of road surfaces following the recent freezing conditions.

James Tarrant, from Windsor, won his battle for justice against Buckinghamshire County Council with the help of Irwin Mitchell Solicitors. The local authority admitted breaching their duty of care and agreed to pay nearly £5,000 which will be used to help fund his dental repairs.

He required his tooth extracting and suffered injuries to his arm and wrist when he was thrown from his bike after it got caught in a deep pothole as he was travelling to work along Bangor Road, Iver, in October 2008.

He hopes his story will act as a warning to both cyclists and councils of the possible consequences from potholes after the recent cold snap, which is likely to have left the roads in a poor condition as damage is caused when water seeps into cracks in the road, freezes, and expands which causes a hole to form.

Buckinghamshire County Council, who are partners with Cycling England, has a stated vision of ‘more people cycling, more safely, more often’ but admitted liability for the accident which was caused by a deep pothole that had formed next to a manhole cover.

The 62-year-old former Groundsman enlisted the help of public liability experts at Irwin Mitchell in his battle for justice and now Buckinghamshire County Council has been ordered to pay £4,191.63.

The funds will pay for dental treatment and a new bike after Mr Tarrant was left without a front tooth when it was extracted shortly after the accident.

Mr Tarrant said: “The council encourage more people to cycle for the good of the environment but when the roads are in such a bad condition it can be very unsafe. It’s quite ironic they state they want more people cycling safely when accidents like mine happen.

“I had lights on my bike but the street wasn’t very well illuminated so I didn’t see the pot hole until the last minute, by which time it was too late. This one was particularly deep and should not have been left uncovered or unmarked.

“The recent cold weather is likely to have opened up more cracks and potholes and I hope my story acts as a reminder to other cyclists of the treacherous conditions on the roads.”

Katy Bailey, a specialist in the personal injury department at Irwin Mitchell’s Sheffield office, said: “We see more and more cases of injury caused by potholes whether it’s cyclists, pedestrians and even cars.

“Mr Tarrant was trying to keep active and do his bit for the environment by cycling to work but ended up suffering injury. The recent snow and ice is likely to have caused a large increase in potholes making cycling difficult on some roads.
“We hope lessons will be learnt by the council to try and protect vulnerable road users such as cyclists by highlighting pot holes or filling them in as quickly as possible to prevent further accidents like this one.”

Our specialist road traffic accident lawyers have experience helping a wide number of people who have suffered injuries following a cycling accident. Visit our Cycling Accident Claims page for more information.