Council accused of 'wriggling out' of paying compensation to family of dead cyclist

Roger Hamer suffered a traumatic brain injury after going over his handlebars while cycling to the shops

Pothole on a UK road (Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
(Image credit: Universal Images Group via Getty)

The family of a cyclist who died after hitting a pothole have accused their council of "wriggling out" of paying compensation.

Roger Hamer, 83, died after hitting a pothole three years ago in Ramsbottom, Bury, suffering a traumatic brain injury. He went over the handlebars while on the way to the shops.

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He was then hospitalised, where the decision was eventually taken to place him under palliative care, with Mr Hamer passing away a month later.

The coroner's court concluded that one pothole "possibly contributed" while another "probably did contribute" to Mr Hamer's accident.

His family have been fighting for compensation since 2017, when the court's verdict was returned, and claim Bury Council are refusing to accept any liability for the accident.

Hamer's daughter, Ruth Topping, told the Bury Times (opens in new tab) the council did not respond to several settlement offers. Therefore, if the family wants to pursue compensation further, they must take the case to court, which would cost thousands of pounds.

Topping said: "The solicitors don’t feel confident to take it to criminal court. As far as I’m concerned they’ve wriggled out of it and brushed it under the carpet.

"We have not been in his bedroom. We have not moved his ashes. My mum felt we can’t until this is sorted."

Topping added that the family were angered by the fact the council regularly paid compensation to drivers whose cars had been damaged by potholes.

"These roads were absolutely appalling. The pothole were so deep. The only thing anybody talked about at the time was pot holes. These roads were neglected," she continued. "It was a culture in Ramsbottom that you could just put a claim in and they didn’t even investigate it. They just paid it.

"My grievance is that they could pay out for the cars but they can’t pay compensation for my dad."

Bury Council declined to comment as the case is an ongoing legal matter.

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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.

Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).

I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.