A cyclist who suffered a dislocated shoulder, five broken ribs and other injuries as a result of hitting a pothole in the road has received a compensation pay-out of £7,600 this week.
Ian Davis fell from his bike in February 2006 after riding into the pothole on the B4000 from Lambourn to Newbury and sustained several severe injuries that required hospital treatment. The case went to county court with the result that West Berkshire Council were found liable for the condition of the road that caused the accident.
Speaking to the Newbury Weekly News, 49-year-old Davis said: “The pothole was invisible as I approached it, but as I struck it the handlebars were ripped from my hands, causing me to crash.
“The accident has had a significant impact on my lifestyle. I?m still able to cycle but due to the pain I can?t ride for long periods like I used to.”
Since the accident, West Bershire Council have spent £155,000 on resurfacing the offending stretch of tarmac.
According to figures produced by the Asphalt Industry Alliance for its 2008 Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey, local councils in England and Wales spent £52.3million repairing 853,614 potholes – a cost of £61.27 per pothole. In contrast, £53million was paid out by local authorities in compensation to road users as a result of poor road condition.
In England alone, 89 per cent of local authorities who took part in the ALARM survey “believe there is a threat to road users’ safety due to road maintenance under-funding”. In Wales this figure was 100 per cent. Road repair budget shortfall has been estimated to be in excess of £1billion nationwide.