Cyclist claims £50,000 after pothole fall

12/06/2014
Highways Reporters

A cyclist who was thrown from his bike after hitting a pothole is suing Gwynedd council for £50,000 damages.


Melvyn Griffiths, 56, from Blaenau Ffestiniog, who lost control and went over the handlebars, suffered head injuries and broken bones in the crash,

The BBC reported he has been granted permission to challenge a previous decision which blocked his bid for damages last year.

The case puts the legal spotlight on local authority duties to repair defects in the road.

Mr Griffiths has won the right to argue his case before three of the country's most senior judges at the Court of Appeal in London.

He received injuries to his back, knees and hand in the crash at rural village Croesor in May 2009. He had two broken bones and damage to his teeth as well as head injuries, causing tinnitus.

The court was told he had just crested a hill, when he swerved to avoid gravel and manure in the road. His front wheel went into a pothole and he crashed.

His counsel, Russell Moffatt, argued that the pothole was 80-100 millimetres deep and the council, as highway authority, had been legally obliged to repair it within 24 hours.

The barrister argued that the council had breached its duty to maintain and repair the road under section 41 of the Highways Act 1980.

In December last year, Judge Anthony Seys Llewellyn absolved Mr Griffiths of council claims that he had ridden too fast down the hill.

But he dismissed the cyclist's damages bid, saying that the pothole was not dangerous and that a ruling in his favour would place too demanding a burden on local authorities to constantly repair defects, particularly on isolated rural roads.

But Lord Justice Aikens, granted Mr Griffiths permission to challenge that decision.

The judge, who said he was a keen cyclist himself, ruled that Mr Griffiths had an arguable case that the pothole posed a foreseeable danger to road users and that the council had breached its duty in failing to repair it.

A date has yet to be set for the appeal hearing.

A Gwynedd council spokesperson said it would be inappropriate for the authority to comment on an ongoing legal matter.

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

INSIDE:

Highways Awards 2021 finalists revealed

Harris leads National Highways into new era

View the latest issue


Highways jobs

Traffic Engineering Specialist

£31,272 per annum (Band 6)
Eastleigh Borough Council is an ambitious and progressive council with a good reputation for tackling environmental issues. Eastleigh, Hampshire
Recruiter: Eastleigh Borough Council

Commissioning Officer - Highways Asset Management

£34,728 - £36,922 per annum
We are looking to appoint a Highways Asset Management Officer to join our successful and innovative team. Warwick, Warwickshire
Recruiter: Warwickshire County Council

Environmental Health Officer

£27,741 to £33, 782
We have an opportunity in our Health and Safety Team for an Experienced Health and Safety Officer Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Senior Technician - Asset Management - Highways & Flood Risk

£23,541 to £29,577 per annum (Grade G)
We are currently looking to recruit to two exciting opportunities who will join us and play a role in improving West Berkshire’s highways. Newbury, Berkshire
Recruiter: West Berkshire Council

Street Works Co-ordinator

£21,153 - £23,791
Do you want to make a difference to how Street Works are managed within Lincolnshire? Lincolnshire
Recruiter: Lincolnshire County Council

Principal Transport Planning Officer

£44,863 - £46,845. In addition, re-location expenses may also be paid.
This is an exciting opportunity to join the Strategic Transport Planning Team at Gloucestershire County Council (GCC). Gloucester, Gloucestershire
Recruiter: Gloucestershire County Council

Group Engineer - Highways Network Management

£40,876 - £45,859 Plus market rate supplement of £3,000, reviewed annually
We are looking for a Group Engineer who will support the recovery from the pandemic. Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Group Engineer - Safety Design

£40,876 - £45,859 Plus market rate supplement of £3,000, reviewed annually
We are looking for an experienced engineer to join our Highways Safety Design team. Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Highways Asset Management Engineer

£30,451 - £32,234 per annum
The post holder will... Telford, Shropshire
Recruiter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Senior Traffic Engineer

£32,910 - £35,745 per annum
This is an exciting opportunity to join Telford & Wrekin Council’s Highway Network Management Team to... Telford, Shropshire
Recruiter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Traffic Signals Engineer

£25,991 - £35,745
An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Technician/Engineer to join the Traffic Signals Systems & Operations (TSSO) team as a Career Grade Engineer. Lincoln, Lincolnshire
Recruiter: Lincolnshire County Council

Street Lighting Design Engineer

£18,812 - £35,745
This is an exciting opportunity for you to join Lincolnshire County Council's Street Lighting Team as a Street Lighting Design Engineer. Lincoln, Lincolnshire
Recruiter: Lincolnshire County Council

Project Engineers

£36,922 per annum (Grade H-I)
West Berkshire Council are looking for innovative, enthusiastic and focused Project Engineers. Newbury, Berkshire
Recruiter: West Berkshire Council

Charge Hand (Highways)

£24,943 to £27,067 per annum
We are looking for motivated individuals who are willing to contribute to the team’s growth and success. York, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: City of York Council

Principal Highways Drainage Engineer

£32,910 - £35,745 per annum
Do you want to take a leading role maintaining a large network of assets? Telford, Shropshire
Recruiter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Cleaner Streets and Waste Contract Manager - Communities

£48,809 - £49,794 per annum
Responsible for managing the street cleansing, household waste collections services and community recycling centres Bridgend (Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr)
Recruiter: Bridgend County Borough Council

Senior Engineer Flood & Drainage

£40,876 - £45,859
We make a difference to the environment we live in. Come and help us manage our blue infrastructure. Bracknell, Berkshire
Recruiter: Bracknell Forest Borough Council

Senior Engineer

£31,339 to £35,754 per annum
We are looking for enthusiastic and motivated individuals who are willing to contribute to the teams growth and success. York, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: City of York Council

Waste Collection Operative - Loaders / HGV Drivers (Hays Recruitment)

Competitive Salary
Hays are excited to be working in partnership with Chelmsford City Council who are always looking to expand their teams and are looking for... Chelmsford, Essex
Recruiter: Chelmsford City Council

Highways Presents

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Video