Express & Star

Four cyclists badly injured by pothole

Four cyclists suffered severe injuries after hitting the same pothole on a Staffordshire road in three weeks.

Greg Dancer suffered facial injures

The men were travelling on the Gnosall to Norbury Junction Road, near Stafford, on separate rides when each of them hit the crater in the road.

They are now calling for action to be taken on badly damaged roads.

Paul Rowlands, 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.”

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

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

The stretch of road in question has now been repaired.

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

Those with a similar experience should contact Mr Rowlands on 07702 226830.

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