Revealed: Cyclists' injury claims after pothole accidents in Kingston

Surrey Comet: Cyclist John O'Connell in Langley Road, Surbiton, at the spot where he hit a pothole, since repaired Cyclist John O'Connell in Langley Road, Surbiton, at the spot where he hit a pothole, since repaired

Seven cyclists have demanded compensation from Kingston Council after suffering injuries they believe were sustained on pothole-damaged roads – but only one has been successful.

The authority doled out £700 in damages to a cyclist injured in an accident in Grafton Road, New Malden, on October 4 last year.

Between 2012 and April 2014 six other cyclist have come forward with injury claims but ended up empty-handed.

The figures were revealed through a freedom of information request by the Surrey Comet asking about damage claims from cyclists between January 2012 and April 25, 2014.

Jon Fray, from Kingston Cycling Campaign, said: “I am sure everybody riding a bike would not want to claim money but that the incident did not happen.

“But it is fair that if people are injured or have their bikes damaged they should claim.

“I’m surprised there has not been many more claims because there’s scores of potholes in the roads.”

Kingston’s Brag Residents’ Association which covers Burton Road, Richmond Park Road and Gibbon Road has dedicated a whole web page to a gallery of rogue and dangerous potholes in north Kingston.

Glen Keywood, from Brag, said: “Potholes are so dangerous for cyclists.

"It is important to resurface the roads for safety. They have recently resurfaced Acre, Gibbon and Elm Road. They are starting to deal with it.

“But Richmond Park Road is another matter. It is still a problem.”

Five cyclists have also asked Kingston Council for money relating to claims for damage to their bicycles since April 2011.

One claimant received £175 following an accident in Moor Lane in Chessington last year.

But John O’Connell, 50, is still waiting on a claim for £220 after coming off his bicycle in Langley Road, Surbiton when his bike hit a deep water-filled pothole on February 17.

Surrey Comet:

The pothole in Langley Road on the day of Mr O'Connell's accident

Although he was not injured his bike suffered considerable damage.

He said: “It is a rather complicated process and takes a lot of time to find out how exactly to claim.

"I had to contact six or seven people at Kingston Council before I found the right person. I think there is a disincentive there.

“You don’t know how many people started the process and then gave up.”

Kingston Council's new Conservative administration has pledged to take £1m from the authority's traffic and parking fines account and reinvest it into to repairing roads, pavements and potholes in its first year in power.

The highest injury payout received by a cyclist is Alan Curtis, who was given almost £70,000 by Hertfordshire County Council after suffering brain damage following a pothole accident in Rickmansworth.

Comments (12)

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12:35pm Wed 4 Jun 14

kingstonpaul says...

As a KOT taxpayer, our money would have been much better spent on filling the potholes rather than paying out for the appalling development of the Market Place. It's taken the council six months to kill off what was once a charming and atmospheric part of Kingston, replacing it with a cheapo MDF construction that will look hideous in a few months time.
As a KOT taxpayer, our money would have been much better spent on filling the potholes rather than paying out for the appalling development of the Market Place. It's taken the council six months to kill off what was once a charming and atmospheric part of Kingston, replacing it with a cheapo MDF construction that will look hideous in a few months time. kingstonpaul
  • Score: -5

1:16pm Wed 4 Jun 14

TraditionalValues says...

What a complete non-story.

If one cuts through the fluff, maybes and perhaps, all that's left is the stark fact that there has only been one solitary successful claim.

Hardly newsworthy. And did the reporter establish whether this McConnell chap is a member of a political party, Labour perhaps? It would seem prudent to do so in stories of this nature.
What a complete non-story. If one cuts through the fluff, maybes and perhaps, all that's left is the stark fact that there has only been one solitary successful claim. Hardly newsworthy. And did the reporter establish whether this McConnell chap is a member of a political party, Labour perhaps? It would seem prudent to do so in stories of this nature. TraditionalValues
  • Score: 11

4:32pm Wed 4 Jun 14

Jon Fray says...

TraditionalValues wrote:
What a complete non-story.

If one cuts through the fluff, maybes and perhaps, all that's left is the stark fact that there has only been one solitary successful claim.

Hardly newsworthy. And did the reporter establish whether this McConnell chap is a member of a political party, Labour perhaps? It would seem prudent to do so in stories of this nature.
The main story is clear that seven people have tried to make claims in this tim frame and only one has been successful so far. Which makes six who have either been turned down or are still in the process of making a claim. That's worth knowing. As explained, it appears to be complicated and onerous to make a valid claim. That's a news story. It is important that people, whether they are riding a bike, driving or walking report faults such as potholes to the council. Report them directly to the council. Also log them at www.fixmystreet.com. At that site you can see how long it takes for faults to get rectified. You can see there that there are 550 problems in Kingston that have been reported where the outcome is unknown, which could mean that they've not been addressed by the council. For what it's worth I'm not a member of a political party.
[quote][p][bold]TraditionalValues[/bold] wrote: What a complete non-story. If one cuts through the fluff, maybes and perhaps, all that's left is the stark fact that there has only been one solitary successful claim. Hardly newsworthy. And did the reporter establish whether this McConnell chap is a member of a political party, Labour perhaps? It would seem prudent to do so in stories of this nature.[/p][/quote]The main story is clear that seven people have tried to make claims in this tim frame and only one has been successful so far. Which makes six who have either been turned down or are still in the process of making a claim. That's worth knowing. As explained, it appears to be complicated and onerous to make a valid claim. That's a news story. It is important that people, whether they are riding a bike, driving or walking report faults such as potholes to the council. Report them directly to the council. Also log them at www.fixmystreet.com. At that site you can see how long it takes for faults to get rectified. You can see there that there are 550 problems in Kingston that have been reported where the outcome is unknown, which could mean that they've not been addressed by the council. For what it's worth I'm not a member of a political party. Jon Fray
  • Score: -1

5:59pm Wed 4 Jun 14

concernedofkingston says...

I'm sure it's very expensive job to sort out all of the potholes and perhaps if cyclists, as well as motorists, were asked to pay a reasonable amount of road tax it could be reinvested to make the roads safer for them?

ps. although a bit off topic I tend to agree with the comment made by Kingstonpaul about the new market.
I'm sure it's very expensive job to sort out all of the potholes and perhaps if cyclists, as well as motorists, were asked to pay a reasonable amount of road tax it could be reinvested to make the roads safer for them? ps. although a bit off topic I tend to agree with the comment made by Kingstonpaul about the new market. concernedofkingston
  • Score: -6

7:16pm Wed 4 Jun 14

John O'Connell says...

concernedofkingston wrote:
I'm sure it's very expensive job to sort out all of the potholes and perhaps if cyclists, as well as motorists, were asked to pay a reasonable amount of road tax it could be reinvested to make the roads safer for them?

ps. although a bit off topic I tend to agree with the comment made by Kingstonpaul about the new market.
Road Tax? It was abolished in, er, 1937 I think. It's now VED - which is based on emissions, which is why cycles - and Electric Vehicles - are exempt.

Road Maintenance costs and VED are unconnected. Road Maintenance comes from general taxation - which we all pay.

I *was* that cyclist mentioned above (John O'Connell) and as I ride a motorcycle as well, I actually *do* pay VED. A recent surveys stated that 65% of cyclists actually also own a car, so mostly they pay VED as well.
[quote][p][bold]concernedofkingston[/bold] wrote: I'm sure it's very expensive job to sort out all of the potholes and perhaps if cyclists, as well as motorists, were asked to pay a reasonable amount of road tax it could be reinvested to make the roads safer for them? ps. although a bit off topic I tend to agree with the comment made by Kingstonpaul about the new market.[/p][/quote]Road Tax? It was abolished in, er, 1937 I think. It's now VED - which is based on emissions, which is why cycles - and Electric Vehicles - are exempt. Road Maintenance costs and VED are unconnected. Road Maintenance comes from general taxation - which we all pay. I *was* that cyclist mentioned above (John O'Connell) and as I ride a motorcycle as well, I actually *do* pay VED. A recent surveys stated that 65% of cyclists actually also own a car, so mostly they pay VED as well. John O'Connell
  • Score: 0

7:19pm Wed 4 Jun 14

John O'Connell says...

TraditionalValues wrote:
What a complete non-story.

If one cuts through the fluff, maybes and perhaps, all that's left is the stark fact that there has only been one solitary successful claim.

Hardly newsworthy. And did the reporter establish whether this McConnell chap is a member of a political party, Labour perhaps? It would seem prudent to do so in stories of this nature.
"And did the reporter establish whether this McConnell chap is a member of a political party, Labour perhaps?"

It's me, and it's O'Connell. I don't think political affiliation was going through my mind in the split second before I hit the tarmac, though.
[quote][p][bold]TraditionalValues[/bold] wrote: What a complete non-story. If one cuts through the fluff, maybes and perhaps, all that's left is the stark fact that there has only been one solitary successful claim. Hardly newsworthy. And did the reporter establish whether this McConnell chap is a member of a political party, Labour perhaps? It would seem prudent to do so in stories of this nature.[/p][/quote]"And did the reporter establish whether this McConnell chap is a member of a political party, Labour perhaps?" It's me, and it's O'Connell. I don't think political affiliation was going through my mind in the split second before I hit the tarmac, though. John O'Connell
  • Score: -2

8:09am Thu 5 Jun 14

concernedofkingston says...

Re John O'Connell's observation i.e. :
"Road Tax? It was abolished in, er, 1937 I think. It's now VED"

I fully accept JOC is technically correct but equally the term "road tax" is still used fairly widely. For example, one organisation that appears to be content with the current use of 'road tax' as the vernacular for VED is the Advertising Standards Authority. Complaints that advertisements using the term are incorrect are, as I understand it, rejected with a letter stating "although we acknowledge that the correct term is 'Vehicle Excise Duty', more commonly used phrases such as 'Road Tax' are often used by advertisers to convey a message in a way that will be understood by the widest audience.
Re John O'Connell's observation i.e. : "Road Tax? It was abolished in, er, 1937 I think. It's now VED" I fully accept JOC is technically correct but equally the term "road tax" is still used fairly widely. For example, one organisation that appears to be content with the current use of 'road tax' as the vernacular for VED is the Advertising Standards Authority. Complaints that advertisements using the term are incorrect are, as I understand it, rejected with a letter stating "although we acknowledge that the correct term is 'Vehicle Excise Duty', more commonly used phrases such as 'Road Tax' are often used by advertisers to convey a message in a way that will be understood by the widest audience. concernedofkingston
  • Score: -3

1:18pm Thu 5 Jun 14

Jon Fray says...

It makes no sense at all to require people who ride bicycles to pay "Road Tax" (correctly known as Vehicle Excise Duty) in order to 'pay for road maintenance' when so many car drivers don't have to pay "Road Tax", aka VED; the cars that emit less than 100g CO2/km and 'Historic Vehicles'. Since the roads are maintened using taxes collected by Income Tax, VAT and Council Tax etc we can safely say that people who ride bicycles (and who incidently also may drive cars too - myself included) have already paid for the upkeep of the roads before VED needs to be mentioned. Road Tax/ Car Tax/ VED does not directly pay for road maintenance.
It makes no sense at all to require people who ride bicycles to pay "Road Tax" (correctly known as Vehicle Excise Duty) in order to 'pay for road maintenance' when so many car drivers don't have to pay "Road Tax", aka VED; the cars that emit less than 100g CO2/km and 'Historic Vehicles'. Since the roads are maintened using taxes collected by Income Tax, VAT and Council Tax etc we can safely say that people who ride bicycles (and who incidently also may drive cars too - myself included) have already paid for the upkeep of the roads before VED needs to be mentioned. Road Tax/ Car Tax/ VED does not directly pay for road maintenance. Jon Fray
  • Score: 2

3:40pm Thu 5 Jun 14

John O'Connell says...

concernedofkingston wrote:
Re John O'Connell's observation i.e. :
"Road Tax? It was abolished in, er, 1937 I think. It's now VED"

I fully accept JOC is technically correct but equally the term "road tax" is still used fairly widely. For example, one organisation that appears to be content with the current use of 'road tax' as the vernacular for VED is the Advertising Standards Authority. Complaints that advertisements using the term are incorrect are, as I understand it, rejected with a letter stating "although we acknowledge that the correct term is 'Vehicle Excise Duty', more commonly used phrases such as 'Road Tax' are often used by advertisers to convey a message in a way that will be understood by the widest audience.
The main issue I have with the term 'Road Tax' is exactly that myth which is reinforced right here - that it is a tax to use the roads, and non-payers have less or no rights. I have lost count of car drivers who tell me to "get out of their way, as I don't pay Road Tax.'

As long as this false term is used, the myth will be reinforced.

I was unaware that the ASA had allowed the term 'Road Tax'. It is, after all, not just technically incorrect, but actually misleading.
[quote][p][bold]concernedofkingston[/bold] wrote: Re John O'Connell's observation i.e. : "Road Tax? It was abolished in, er, 1937 I think. It's now VED" I fully accept JOC is technically correct but equally the term "road tax" is still used fairly widely. For example, one organisation that appears to be content with the current use of 'road tax' as the vernacular for VED is the Advertising Standards Authority. Complaints that advertisements using the term are incorrect are, as I understand it, rejected with a letter stating "although we acknowledge that the correct term is 'Vehicle Excise Duty', more commonly used phrases such as 'Road Tax' are often used by advertisers to convey a message in a way that will be understood by the widest audience.[/p][/quote]The main issue I have with the term 'Road Tax' is exactly that myth which is reinforced right here - that it is a tax to use the roads, and non-payers have less or no rights. I have lost count of car drivers who tell me to "get out of their way, as I don't pay Road Tax.' As long as this false term is used, the myth will be reinforced. I was unaware that the ASA had allowed the term 'Road Tax'. It is, after all, not just technically incorrect, but actually misleading. John O'Connell
  • Score: 1

8:02pm Thu 5 Jun 14

TraditionalValues says...

It is a principal of Conservatism that those people who benefit from a service are those who should pay for it. I see no reason why this basic tenet should not apply to cyclists having to pay some level of road tax.

Nor should there be complaints from socialist types that it is too difficult to extort further money from the council or more accurately, council tax payers' wallets. Well done to the finance manager for refusing to pay out in seven out of the measly eight instances where these chancers tried it on.
It is a principal of Conservatism that those people who benefit from a service are those who should pay for it. I see no reason why this basic tenet should not apply to cyclists having to pay some level of road tax. Nor should there be complaints from socialist types that it is too difficult to extort further money from the council or more accurately, council tax payers' wallets. Well done to the finance manager for refusing to pay out in seven out of the measly eight instances where these chancers tried it on. TraditionalValues
  • Score: -1

8:40pm Thu 5 Jun 14

John O'Connell says...

TraditionalValues wrote:
It is a principal of Conservatism that those people who benefit from a service are those who should pay for it. I see no reason why this basic tenet should not apply to cyclists having to pay some level of road tax.

Nor should there be complaints from socialist types that it is too difficult to extort further money from the council or more accurately, council tax payers' wallets. Well done to the finance manager for refusing to pay out in seven out of the measly eight instances where these chancers tried it on.
"It is a principal of Conservatism that those people who benefit from a service are those who should pay for it."

We DO all pay for it. As I said before. Road Maintenance come from General Taxation, which we all pay - whether we drive, cycle or catch the bus - not specifically VED or any other vehicle-based tax. (again, not Road Tax). Even someone who is retired or walks to work is paying to fix the pothole damage to road surfaces caused by *your* vehicles.

VED is really an Emissions Tax. No Emissions, no Tax, no problem.

I note you're not arguing that all electric vehicles (exempt from tax) or classic cars (ditto) should pay up? Clearly it's just cyclists you have an issue with.
[quote][p][bold]TraditionalValues[/bold] wrote: It is a principal of Conservatism that those people who benefit from a service are those who should pay for it. I see no reason why this basic tenet should not apply to cyclists having to pay some level of road tax. Nor should there be complaints from socialist types that it is too difficult to extort further money from the council or more accurately, council tax payers' wallets. Well done to the finance manager for refusing to pay out in seven out of the measly eight instances where these chancers tried it on.[/p][/quote]"It is a principal of Conservatism that those people who benefit from a service are those who should pay for it." We DO all pay for it. As I said before. Road Maintenance come from General Taxation, which we all pay - whether we drive, cycle or catch the bus - not specifically VED or any other vehicle-based tax. (again, not Road Tax). Even someone who is retired or walks to work is paying to fix the pothole damage to road surfaces caused by *your* vehicles. VED is really an Emissions Tax. No Emissions, no Tax, no problem. I note you're not arguing that all electric vehicles (exempt from tax) or classic cars (ditto) should pay up? Clearly it's just cyclists you have an issue with. John O'Connell
  • Score: 2

5:22pm Mon 9 Jun 14

Mind the gap says...

It doesn't take long before the usual tired bleating on about "Road Tax" comes up. The great thing about cycling is the accessibility of it. I put this anti-cycling babble down to pure jealousy. The fact is when I travel in from Surrey to central London during rush hour I will beat any car hands down, I pass hundreds of motorists snarled up in traffic who in some of their minds think that cyclists should not be on the road and in some cases blame us for the traffic jams. The usual rants relate to road tax, mandatory registration plates, MOT for Bikes (as if I would let Halfords near mine), bike tests (which I agree too to some extent), etc etc. I very much doubt that any of these will ever come into force, so can we please move on and stop regurgitating the same old nonsense.
It doesn't take long before the usual tired bleating on about "Road Tax" comes up. The great thing about cycling is the accessibility of it. I put this anti-cycling babble down to pure jealousy. The fact is when I travel in from Surrey to central London during rush hour I will beat any car hands down, I pass hundreds of motorists snarled up in traffic who in some of their minds think that cyclists should not be on the road and in some cases blame us for the traffic jams. The usual rants relate to road tax, mandatory registration plates, MOT for Bikes (as if I would let Halfords near mine), bike tests (which I agree too to some extent), etc etc. I very much doubt that any of these will ever come into force, so can we please move on and stop regurgitating the same old nonsense. Mind the gap
  • Score: 1

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