Widow of cyclist who died after hitting pothole criticises council

Martyn Uzzell, a charity cyclist from Somerset, died when he was knocked by the 10 centimetre North Yorkshire pothole into the path of a passing car

The widow of a charity cyclist who died after a pothole threw him off his bike into the path of a passing car has criticised North Yorkshire County Council for refusing to accept blame for the incident.

Martyn Uzzell, 51, died after hitting the 10 centimetre deep pothole on the A65 at Giggleswick while riding from Land's End to John O'Groats in June 2011.

At a subsequent inquest, coroner Robert Turnbull said that there was "no doubt whatsoever that the condition of the road on that occasion was the cause of the accident", adding that "it must have been some days since the defect was apparent".

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Mr Uzzell's widow Kate has now agreed to accept a six figure sum in compensation from the council, but told the Yorkshire Post that a simple financial settlement was not what she had sought.

"It is more about justice and acknowledging their failings, which they haven't done," she said.

"I haven't got that and to me that is important. I just feel like they have thrown some money at it to make it go away."

Mrs Uzzell urged members of the public to report road defects, describing the council's checking arrangements as "fundamentally flawed".

"That is the only way you can get anything done, by telling them there are these defects and that they have to sort them out," she said.

A council statement said: "Whilst North Yorkshire County Council accepts no liability for the tragic death of Mr Uzzell, the authority has appreciated that this is a sensitive matter and has therefore reached a settlement with Mr Uzzell's widow, to avoid prolonged involvement in further litigation.

"The county council operates a highways maintenance programme that includes a robust system of inspection."

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