The 9in pothole could not be seen as it was filled with water. Simon Moss was thrown off his bike and landed on his face.
A piece in yesterday’s Times:
A cyclist was left with severe injuries to his face and a fractured spine after being thrown from his bike when he hit a deep pothole that had been left unrepaired by the council.
Simon Moss, 44, had to have metal plates inserted into his face to repair a broken jaw, cheek and nose. He also lost four teeth in the incident on Sunday. He was still in hospital yesterday.
The crash happened near Stony Stratford in Buckinghamshire as Mr Moss, a married father of two who is an account manager for a bicycle distribution company, was riding with two friends, one of whom suffered minor injuries after crashing into Mr Moss as he went down. They said that the pothole was difficult to spot because it was filled with rainwater.
Three days earlier Milton Keynes council had inspected the pothole, said to be 23cm (9in) deep. The council’s own guidance says that any defect more than 7.5cm (3in) deep is “made safe within two or 24 hours based on risk assessment”.
The incident underlines the risks faced by cyclists on crumbling roads. Reports of potholes and other defects have soared in recent months after the wet and freezing weather. Government figures show that defective roads have contributed to the deaths or serious injuries of 390 cyclists in the past decade.
This week a Times investigation revealed that councils are avoiding fixing even large potholes because of a lack of funds. This newspaper also revealed that the government had ordered roadworks to be shifted on to pavements to avoids roads being dug up and weakened, making them more susceptible to potholes.
The crash wrote off Mr Moss’s bike, which he used to cycle to work every day. His wife, Helen, said that he would be making a claim against the council.
Last year Milton Keynes council received 46 claims for pothole damage. In 2016 it paid out just over £1,200 to the public. A spokesman for the council said: “We’re very sorry to hear about Mr Moss’s experience and injuries. Following notification by a resident, we inspected the site of the pothole on April 26 and sent a gang out to repair it on April 29.”
Why is there “a lack of funds” to finance basic infrastructure requirmeents? Arguably, because the government is wasting huge sums of taxpayers’ money on initiatives aimed at privileging women over men, and its many social engineering programmes (e.g. spending £30 million in a futile bid to increase the number women studying engineering).
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