Potholes can cause injuries to cyclists

Graham McGill, Solicitor

Graham McGill, Solicitor

With winter behind us and spring having well and truly sprung, it’s time to get back on your bike and embrace the open road alfresco style!

Cycling is growing in popularity in the UK, not just for sport, but also as a mode of transport for commuting and leisure.

Whilst the health benefits of cycling are well known, it is not an activity without risk; in addition to the obvious hazard presented by motor vehicles, there are also hidden dangers lurking in the very fabric of the road - potholes.

According to cycling groups, there is an average of one pothole for every 110 meters of road in the UK, that’s 146 potholes per 10 mile trip. Potholes are more than just a nuisance, they present a real danger to cyclists.

Graham McGill, Associate solicitor at NewLaw solicitors, comments, “I have successfully represented numerous cyclists who have been thrown off their bike as a result of the state of the road, sustaining bumps and bruises, fractures or even worse. Local councils have a duty to maintain the roads, but, especially at this time of austerity, such maintenance is often low down the list of priorities; this leads to the roads falling into disrepair, presenting an increased risk to cyclists.”

Section 41 of the Highways Act 1980 imposes a duty upon the Highway Authority to maintain the highway.  In order to be successful in a claim under Section 41, the cyclist must prove that the accident was caused by a ‘dangerous’ defect. In determining what is dangerous the Court will consider a number of factors including the size of the defect and the type of road.

The Highway Authority can look to defend the claim under Section 58 of the Act if they can prove that they took such care as was reasonable in the circumstances, to ensure that the Highway remained free from danger.

If you have been  injured in a cycling accident, within the last 3 years, caused by a pothole, you could be entitled to compensation. 

In the meantime, if you see a pothole, report it to your local council.  

Happy cycling!

If you think you have a claim for compensation for your cycling injury, contact NewLaw solicitors on 0333 003 1909 today.


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