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Injured cyclists seek other victims of dangerous pothole

Riders are calling for others to come forward if they were hurt too

Four cyclists who suffered serious injuries after riding over the same pothole are seeking other victims as they take action against the local council.

All four men were riding on the Gnosall to Norbury Junction Road, near Stafford when they hit the damaged tarmac, which has now been repaired.

They are calling for other cyclists to get in touch if they have suffered similarly.

The four separate incidents were all very serious and resulted in trips to A&E.

Paul Rowlands was off work for three months after his crash in November, when he fractured his front and rear ribs, suffered a fractured collarbone, as well as concussion.

He said he would be attempting to recover the costs of his £2,000 bike from Staffordshire County Council.

He told the Express and Star: “After hitting it I just lay there face down in the water. They were scared to move me cause they didn’t know if I had spinal damage.

“Without being mercenary I was so debilitated that I spent the first week propped up with cushions. I couldn’t do anything.

“I want some compensation. I want to be able to get my bike back. The ultimate goal is for Staffordshire County Council to fix the roads in the county.”

Glenn MacDonald-Jones, Antony Grigg and Greg Dancer were all taken to A&E at Stafford’s County Hospital. Mr Rowlands, who was off work for three months, fractured his front and rear ribs, suffered a fractured collarbone, as well as concussion.

The 53-year-old, from Whitgreave, ended up face down in the water following the incident on November 27 – wrecking his £2,000-plus bike in the process.

But Mr Rowlands plans to take action against the authority. He said: “After hitting it I just lay there face down in the water. They were scared to move me cause they didn’t know if I had spinal damage.

“Without being mercenary I was so debilitated that I spent the first week propped up with cushions. I couldn’t do anything.

“I want some compensation. I want to be able to get my bike back. The ultimate goal is for Staffordshire County Council to fix the roads in the county.”

Also in November, Greg Dancer, 63, of Stone, suffered from severe facial injuries, cuts and bruising to his hands, soft tissue injuries to his back and rib cage.

The cyclist, who is chairman of the Stone Wheelers cycling club said: “I’ve been cycling for over 40 years on race bikes.

“It happened as I approached a section of the road where water had pooled, leaving what appeared to be a clear run.

“I passed through that, my front wheel went in and the bike high-sided. I was thrown to the ground, it tore my top lip off and knocked my front teeth out. I injured my shoulder badly and was taken to Stafford hospital before being transferred to Stoke.

“I’ve had new teeth put in and my stitches have come out. Its almost six months since it happened so its been quite a while.

“We want the council to consider cyclists and for them to ensure that roads are safe for all road users.”

Among the other cyclists affected, Mr Dancer, 63, of Stone, suffered from severe facial injuries, cuts and bruising to his hands, soft tissue injuries to his back and rib cage on November 15. The chairman of the Stone Wheelers cycling club said: “I’ve been cycling for over 40 years on race bikes. He said: “It happened as I approached a section of the road where water had pooled, leaving what appeared to be a clear run.

“I passed through that, my front wheel went in and the bike high-sided. I was thrown to the ground, it tore my top lip off and knocked my front teeth out. I injured my shoulder badly and was taken to Stafford hospital before being transferred to Stoke.

“I’ve had new teeth put in and my stitches have come out. Its almost six months since it happened so its been quite a while.

“We want the council to consider cyclists and for them to ensure that roads are safe for all road users.”

Antony Grigg, 49, from Gnosall, broke his collar bone and is still struggling with pain months later.

And 60-year-old Glenn MacDonald-Jones, of Norbury, injured his elbow, had soft-tissue injuries to his back, arms and ribs.

James Bailey, Head of Highways at Staffordshire County Council, said: “I hope that each cyclist is able to make a full and speedy recovery.

“We know potholes are a concern to people. Our highways crews make every effort to fix them as soon as possible which is starting to be helped again now as we move out of the wetter winter months.” “We do have a huge road network here in Staffordshire, with around 6,000km of roads and our crews fix around 20,000 potholes every year.

“We do carry out regular inspections of our roads and pothole repairs are prioritised depending on the risk they pose to the travelling public.

“All reported defects are inspected as soon as possible and assessed for their severity, which is decided by considering a number of factors like the location, size and the risk posed to public safety.

“Any defect which poses an immediate risk is dealt with as a priority, and we aim to repair dangerous potholes within seven days. Lesser priority potholes are dealt with when resources are available

Mr Rowlands has asked other affected riders to contact him on 07702 226830.

Earlier this year we reported how in 2014 and 2015, 99 people cycling were killed or seriously injured (KSI) in the UK due to road defects, and though the figure was slightly lower in 2015 than 2014, the trend is a worsening one.

The greatest concern is over the state of minor roads, managed by local authorities, which are heavily-used for local journeys, and where the injury rate is highest.  

Cycling UK says cuts to road repair budgets mean there is now not enough to maintain roads to their current standards, meaning a worsening of roads is inevitable. The Local Government Association (LGA) estimates while it will cost £14bn to fix the existing pothole problem, only £6bn is committed by Government.

Cycling UK’s Campaigns Coordinator, Sam Jones, describes the £6bn pothole fund as “a plaster to fix a broken leg”.

“While the number of KSIs due to defective road surfacing for 2015 was thankfully down from 2014, the overall trend is on the up, and very worrying,” he said.

“Defective road surfaces are particularly worrying for our most vulnerable road users, as it’s trips to the hospital not the garage that they potentially face.”

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

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