A pothole in Gravesend was repaired by emergency workmen within an hour of a cyclist hitting it and suffering serious injuries.
Council workmen were seen at the site, on Old West Road, last Sunday after a cyclist, a man in his 60s, was treated on site by an air ambulance and taken to Kings College Hospital with head, arm, neck and leg injuries. He is not in a life-threatening condition but remained in hospital this week.
A Kent County Council spokesperson said the pothole had not been reported before the collision occurred and urged people to do so.
One local resident, Duncan Gray, was among those who expressed dismay the hole hadn’t been fixed earlier. He told Kent Online: “It was amazing that within 60 minutes a van turns up and they are doing the repair. They were working on a Sunday afternoon when it would have cost an absolute fortune. I was gobsmacked.
“They could have dealt with the issue in the week, before someone came off their bike, and saved the taxpayer money. We can complain about potholes and nothing gets done and suddenly they fill it up.”
Another resident said the hole had been there for weeks. The collision occurred at around 1.30pm last Sunday, and several police cars, ambulances and the fire service attended. A temporary repair was made and a more permanent fix will be carried out later.
The pothole wasn’t reported on Cycling UK’s Fill That Hole website, nor on Kent County Council’s (KCC) dedicated Find and Fix Kent site, which helps the council prioritise a pothole. KCC says it aims to fix a hole within 28 days but in an emergency this can be done within two hours.
KCC spokesman Thom Morris told Kent Online: “We are concerned to hear the cyclist was injured. We were notified of an emergency pothole and made an instant repair by quickly filling the hole. This is to make the road safe straightaway while we schedule a full permanent repair.
“We had no reports of this pothole and would urge people to report potholes and other faults online at www.kent.gov.uk/highways
“In the event of an emergency, residents should call 03000 418181.”
In neighbouring Essex residents have raised concerns about one road with potholes so bad drivers reportedly have to drive on the road to avoid.