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Cyclist Who Suffered Brain Injury After Roundabout Collision Calls For Road Safety Improvements

IT consultant has been unable to return to work since crash six months ago


A cyclist who was left with serious brain injuries after being hit by a car on a Reading roundabout is calling for road safety improvements at the scene of the crash.

Peter Hughes, from Hungerford, Berkshire, is still going through an extensive rehabilitation programme for his injuries six months after the crash on November 20 last year.

His partner Janet instructed expert serious injury lawyers Irwin Mitchell to investigate the collision, which happened at Reading’s Vastern Road roundabout on the A329 during Friday morning rush hour.

Irwin Mitchell is now taking legal action against the driver via her insurers in order to fund Peter’s ongoing rehabilitation and recovery as it’s not yet clear whether he will be able to return to work due to the nature of his injuries.

Peter, an IT Consultant, was airlifted to John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxfordshire after suffering bleeding on the brain - among other serious head injuries.

He was transferred to the neuro-intensive care unit where he was kept under sedation before being moved to Royal Berkshire Hospital’s intensive care unit and on to the hospital’s neuro rehabilitation ward where he remained until January 27 this year.

Peter, who is still off work, is now calling for a review of the roundabout after learning that another cyclist sustained minor injuries when they were struck at the same location just two weeks later.

“With so many people choosing to cycle to and from work, our roads need to be safe and fit for purpose”, he said.

“I can’t stand the idea that someone else might have to go through what my family and I have been through, and a way to reduce that risk is by reassessing that roundabout to check it is safe for use.

“I have a long road ahead of me, but if I can help prevent someone else going through what I have, than something positive will have come from my accident.”

Among the issues Peter has asked Thames Valley Police to investigate are concerns that shrubbery on the roundabout at the time of his accident was too high, creating poor visibility for those driving around it.

The 57-year-old also says that due to the road layout, cyclists have to be in middle or right hand lane of the roundabout under the railway bridge to avoid traffic turning left.

Peter also says that the approach to the roundabout taken by the driver of the vehicle that struck him has a sudden lane change.

“This means you have to be familiar with the roundabout and know where you need to go to get around it without issue,” he said.

The driver involved in Peter’s crash was charged with careless driving and appeared at Reading Magistrates’ Court on May 16 where it was heard that she was driving a hire vehicle that she had picked up 15 minutes earlier.

She pleaded guilty and was give four points on her driving licence and fined £255.

Expert Opinion
“Peter’s ordeal has been borne out of driver inattention and was a completely avoidable crash which has left him with serious injuries needing many months of intensive treatment and rehabilitative therapy.

“Peter and his family hope that something positive can come from this incident in that the road layout of the roundabout can be reassessed in order to prevent other serious injury or even death.

“It must be acknowledged that just two weeks after Peter’s crash, another cyclist was thrown from their bicycle in a similar collision. This would suggest that there are measures which need to be taken to improve the road infrastructure and we would urge the local authority to do so.

“Peter has a long journey ahead of him and many things in his future remain uncertain, but if there is a way his crash can highlight the dangers of this section of the A329, something good will have come from his ordeal.”
Claire Howard, Partner



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