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.
Highways jobs

Head of Waste Operations

Essex County Council
Up to £79325.0 per annum
Help us maintain our enviable standards. With a large population to look after, the work of Essex County Council is both complex and highly interestin England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recruiter: Essex County Council

Road worker/Ground worker

City of York Council
£10.30 per hour
Have you successfully worked as part of a team? York, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: City of York Council

HGV Relief Driver

North West Leicestershire District Council
Salary Band D, £21,589- £24,799 per year (pro rata to period of contract)
We are looking to recruit temporary HGV Relief Drivers with occasional loading duties to join NWLDC’s busy Waste Services Team. Coalville, Leicestershire
Recruiter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Waste Services Worker (Loader)

North West Leicestershire District Council
Band B, £18,795 - £19,171 per year (pro rata to the length of contract)
We are looking for Waste Operations Loaders to join our Waste Services Team to undertake waste collection and other related duties. Coalville, Leicestershire
Recruiter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Chargehand/Ganger

City of York Council
£11.09 per hour
Do you have experience of excavation, reinstatement and footway maintenance schemes? York, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: City of York Council

Sustainability & Resilience Manager (maternity cover)

Essex County Council
£51510.0 - £58752 per annum
This fixed-term contract will begin in August 2020 and is expected to last until October 2021 Interviews scheduled to be held Wednesday 10th June 2020 England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recruiter: Essex County Council

Civil Service Deputy Director Roles

GOV.UK
£70,000 - £117,800 & excellent rewards
We’re looking for significant experience of engaging at C-Suite and Board levels, excellent partnership-building and... England
Recruiter: GOV.UK

Engineer (Highways Scheme Design)

Medway Council
£31,888 - £37,646 per annum
The post-holder will be required to have highway engineering expertise in order to contribute to efficient and effective provision of... Medway City Estate, Rochester
Recruiter: Medway Council

Principal Flood Risk Officer

Lancashire County Council
£42,683-£46,566
We have an exciting opportunity for a Principal Floor Risk Officer Lancashire
Recruiter: Lancashire County Council

Resources and Waste Commercial and Contracts Manager

Northumberland County Council
£47,107 - £50,394
We are looking for a strategic, innovative and performance-focused leader to join us as Resources and Waste; Commercial and Contracts Manager. County Hall, Morpeth, Northumberland
Recruiter: Northumberland County Council

SEN Travel Assessment Co-ordination Officer

London Borough of Bexley
£35,529 - £41,796
We are currently seeking an experienced officer administrator who will enjoy working as team and under their own initiative, with duties including... Bexleyheath, London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Bexley

Principal Planning Liaison Officer X3

Somerset County Council
£33,799 to £37,849 per annum
We have a number of fantastic opportunities in Somerset at various levels Taunton, Somerset
Recruiter: Somerset County Council

Principal Estate Roads Engineer

Somerset County Council
£33,799 to £37,849 per annum
We have a number of fantastic opportunities in Somerset at various levels Taunton, Somerset
Recruiter: Somerset County Council

Principal Travel Plan Officer

Somerset County Council
£33,799 to £37,849 per annum
We have a number of fantastic opportunities in Somerset at various levels Taunton, Somerset
Recruiter: Somerset County Council

Assistant Estate Roads Engineer x2

Somerset County Council
£25,295 to £28,785 per annum
We have 2 exciting opportunities for enthusiastic and committed individuals to join our Highways Development Management Team Taunton, Somerset
Recruiter: Somerset County Council

Design Services Manager

Lincolnshire County Council
£50,430 - £55,503
We are a team of mixed experience and skills, proud to serve the people of Lincolnshire and have fun whilst doing so! Lincolnshire
Recruiter: Lincolnshire County Council

Transport Planning Officer

North Yorkshire County Council
£29,636 to £32,029
We are looking for a Transport Planning Officer to join our Highways and Transportation service. Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Transforming Cities Fund - Project Delivery Manager

North Yorkshire County Council
£48,000 to £55,840
We are looking to appoint to the pivotal position of TCF Project Delivery Manager on a 3 year fixed-term contract, to... Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Field Officer

Northumberland County Council
£21,589 - £23,836
Field Officer, Permanent,  37 hours per week.  Closing date 29 May 2020 at midnight  Plessey Woods Country Park
Recruiter: Northumberland County Council

Solicitor - Planning & Transportation Team

Birmingham City Council
£34,788 - £42,683
This is an opportunity to join a team of specialist lawyers dedicated to the Council achieving... Birmingham, West Midlands
Recruiter: Birmingham City Council

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Crossing the inflection point

COVID-19 recovery plans revealed

Modelling a changing world

The great reallocation

View the latest issue

Latest Video