An 83-year-old cyclist was knocked unconscious, dying in hospital a month later, after “flying over the handlebars” while cycling on a road that local residents said was well-known for its high number of potholes, an inquest has heard.
According to the Rossendale Free Press, Roger Hamer suffered several skull fractures and a severe brain injury in the accident on Bury New Road in Ramsbottom in March 2016, dying in Salford Royal Hospital a month later.
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There were no witnesses to the accident, but local residents said that they frequently complained about the state of the road, and that Mr Hamer had fallen close to a pothole described as the size of a dinner plate and 8cm deep.
One of the residents, Helen Wesolowski, said that she had reported the road defect to the Bury Council two weeks before Mr Hamer’s accident, with a council worker coming to examine the pothole the day after she reported it, but that it was only “half-fixed” in the hours after Mr Hamer had fallen from his bike.
“The majority of residents on Bury New Road have either emailed or rang the council about the state of the road, Ms Wesolowski said. “There are potholes all over it.”
Susan Simpson, another resident who was one of the first on the scene to assist Mr Hamer, was convinced that he had fallen after hitting the pothole.
“There was nothing else [he could have hit] apart from the pothole,” Ms Simpson said. “It was about a yard from where he landed.”
Bury Council, represented at the inquest by Mark Bradley, contested residents’ claims about the pothole, saying that the pothole in question was only 2cm deep, and that only potholes deeper than 4cm were “actionable”.