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Pothole “so deep I can park my bike in it” branded a “danger to life” by cyclist

The “atrocious” pothole, flagged just a week after an 84-year-old cyclist died after his bike got stuck in a similar crack in the road, has since been fixed by Oxfordshire County Council

A cyclist has blasted the “atrocious” state of the roads near his home in Oxfordshire, which he says represent a “potential danger to life”, a week after an 84-year-old was killed after the front wheel of his bike became lodged in a nine-inch-deep crack in the road surface in Lancashire.

Cyclist Tim Masters, from Didcot, has written to Oxfordshire County Council this week to report several potholes in the area, including one he says is “so deep I can park my bike in it”.

“The state of the roads around the Hagbournes near Didcot is atrocious,” Masters told the Oxford Mail. “I’m a cyclist and motorist. I use these roads almost every day. 

“The most serious pothole is on Brook Lane, close to the junction with Park Road and Main Road in Coscote. The pothole is so deep I can park my bike in it. In my opinion this pothole is a potential danger to life.”

Since alerting the local authority about the staggeringly large pothole on Brook Lane earlier this week, the cyclist tweeted yesterday that Oxfordshire County Council had fixed the hazard within 48 hours of his complaint.

> Dangerous pothole that caused fatal cycling crash was reported multiple times without action 

However, Masters notes that more needs to be done to ensure the safety of cyclists in the surrounding area.

“The stretch of Park Road surrounded by open fields between Didcot and the Hagbournes is in a disgraceful state, especially for cyclists,” he says.

“Many sections at the side the road have collapsed and are unusable. There are dangerous potholes and dips along the whole stretch.

“The road quality has seriously worsened since it has become a main route to and from East Hagbourne used by construction vehicles for the new Deanfield Green development.”

Responding to Mr Masters’ warnings about the state of local roads, Liberal Democrat councillor Andrew Gant, who serves as the council’s cabinet member for highway management as well as its ‘cycling champion’, told BBC Radio that the local authority understands the safety concerns of cyclists and other road users.

However, he noted that “budget pressures” due to inflation and the recent “severe weather” have combined to “make the situation on the roads worse”.

> Wife of “much loved” cyclist who died after wheel got stuck in nine-inch pothole says government must do more to repair “woefully inadequate” roads 

The complaints about the dire state of Oxfordshire’s roads come just over a week after the death of 84-year-old retired music teacher, cycling club president, and father-of-three Harry Colledge, who was killed while riding his bike on a rural road near the Lancashire village of Winmarleigh after his front wheel got stuck in a deep crack in the road.

On Sunday, we reported that the late cyclist’s wife, Valerie Colledge, has called on both central and local governments to do more to protect people cycling on the UK’s “woefully inadequate” rural roads.

“Potholes are a horrendous problem for cyclists,” Mrs Colledge said. “Harry’s front wheel got stuck in a nine-inch-deep pothole. A local farmer told me she had complained to the council about the pothole, but nothing was done.

“Roads here are in a terrible condition. The lane where Harry died is used by heavy milk trucks, tractors, and lorries, so often subsides.”

According to recent data from the Department for Transport, at least 425 cyclists have been killed or injured due to poor or defective road surfaces since 2016.

Ryan joined as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.

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