Cyclist was trapped by Norfolk road pothole
A cyclist is calling for compensation from Norfolk County Council after he narrowly avoided being hit by a passing car when his bike became trapped in a pothole.
Darren Styles, 39, of Chestnut Road, Tasburgh, nearly fell off his bike after the front wheel became trapped in a hole between 50 and 100mm deep on the Bunwell Road at Besthorpe, close to T J Motorsports.
He believed the county council should have repaired the hole – as workmen had done others along the same stretch of road – and said the accident broke the front wheel on his Cannondale Supersix bike, while the rear wheel was also damaged.
The total cost of the repair to the �2,000 bike was �220.
The UK Power Networks engineer, who was cycling behind his friend Tom O'Neill at the time on February 23, said he was lucky he was able to prevent his fall, as if he had fallen off to his right he would have gone into a passing car.
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'I managed to dismount the bike onto the grass verge and my initial thought was that I had got a puncture. I was just shook up by the accident really.
'It was the realisation that if I had fallen to my right I would have hit the car head on,' Mr Stiles said.
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Mr Styles, who lives with wife Jo, 39, said he had had his bike for about eight weeks before the incident.
County council spokesman Kate Gooding said potholes were dealt with on a priority basis, with the most urgent repairs being carried out to those posing the greatest danger to road users.
She said: 'We are sorry to hear of Mr Styles's accident and have investigated the circumstances.
'However, we do not believe we have a claim to answer on this occasion. This is because we believe we took reasonable measures to maintain the highway by carrying out regular inspections.
We also had no reports of concerns from any road users before this incident.
'We did become aware of some damage to the road early in February, when an engineer visited to check the road ahead of planned surface dressing.
'However, due to the nature of the defect, the repairs were deemed non-urgent and scheduled to take place within 28 days.
'Once we became aware of Mr Styles's accident, which occurred during the 28 day period, the defect was made safe.'