Warning to road users as pothole reappears where cyclist crashed

PUBLISHED: 08:45 24 January 2019

Audley End Road.

Audley End Road.

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A cyclist from Saffron Walden who had emergency surgery after hitting a pothole on his bicycle two years ago is 'infuriated' that the hole appears to have returned to the state it was in at the time of the crash.

Potholes near the pedestrian crossing in Audley End Road.Potholes near the pedestrian crossing in Audley End Road.

Luke Millward, 40, was cycling in the dark in Audley End Road in March, 2017, when he hit the pothole and came off his bike, fracturing his left and right elbows and breaking his left wrist.

Mr Millward wants to warn other cyclists, pedestrians and road users of the dangerous pothole and is urging Essex County Council to repair it before another accident happens.

The father-of-two, a self-employed physiotherapist, says the county council accepted liability and repaired the road within days of the accident, but the legal process is ongoing and he is now going to court.

“This has been a long process and a bit of a challenge,” he said. “I was off work for a month and the long-term impact is ongoing. It’s infuriating that I nearly ended my career because of that accident and the pothole has returned and hasn’t been fixed yet.

“It’s not fair that people’s livelihoods are at risk. We pay a lot of tax here and they are not taking the state of the roads seriously - people’s cars are being damaged, people are having accidents.”

The pothole has appeared in exactly the same place as where Mr Millward crashed - on the pedestrian crossing outside Saffron Walden County High School.

“All it takes is for a child to be crossing the road, fall down the hole and a car to be coming the other way and we could have a fatality,” he said.

Mr Millward will be assessed by a medical professional in March - two years after the accident - to see if there is any long-term damage.

“I am still having trouble with my wrist and as a physiotherapist, I will be using my wrist for another 20 years at least,” he said. “Am I going to have to end my career early? That will have a big knock-on effect on my family. It’s not fair.”

A spokesman for Essex Highways said: “This pothole has been previously repaired and we are aware of it. It has been inspected and it will be regularly monitored to see if it has worsened. We will next be inspecting Audley End Road in February. We may take further action to repair it again if it shows signs of significant deterioration.”

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