A TOTAL of three people have now come forward to say that they have had road surface related accidents due to excess grit.
Following from our report last week about scooterist Stef Callear breaking his arm after a fall off his Lambretta in the Thorncliffe area, two more people have contacted the Post & Times about similar incidents.
Mr Callear claimed this was caused by excess grit left after the recent resurfacing of roads in the area.
Now cyclist Chris Heath has told how he came off his bike in the same area just a day after Mr Callear’s incident.
Mr Heath, aged 39, of Leek, said: “I was out with a couple of friends on our bikes and as I went down the bank, my bike just went from under me and I ended up in the embankment, and heard a snap which I soon realised was my collarbone.
“I did try and make my way home but it was just too painful so I called for an ambulance.” Mr Heath is set to have an operation to have a metal plate fitted to his collarbone.
He said: “I have been cycling for three years and do up to 100 miles a week, and have never had an accident like this before.
“I had been going quite cautiously, like I have been the last few weeks around town due to all the resurfacing. I have also ridden down that bank many times before with no problem.
“At first I just thought it was one of those accidents, but now that I have heard there have been more incidents, I believe that the council is at fault and I will be seeking legal advice.”
Meanwhile, motorcyclist Julie Lea, aged 37, of Leek, has come forward to tell of an incident in Easing Lane, Thorncliffe, on July 26.
The mum-of-three had been out on her Yamaha YBR125, while her husband was on his motorbike.
She said: “I was going steady as it is a steep bank, but as I went around the bend my bike came into contact with a pile of gravel in the road, and my bike went from under me. My bike went one way while I went another way, skidding across the road.”
She suffered bruising, swelling and grazing to her right arm, knee and shoulder. She attended the Minor Injuries Department at Leek Moorlands Hospital the following day due to nausea, headaches and visual problems.
Julie is now making a claim in the region of £1,400 against the county council for the cost of repairs to her bike, plus replacement costs for her riding gear.
She said: “It’s not just the monetary value of replacing things – this has also knocked my confidence in riding a motorbike.
“I have since gone out on my husband’s bike with him following in the car, but I really didn't have much confidence in riding it.
“I have not experienced anything like this before.” Nick Upright, a solicitor in Market Street, Leek, has been giving Stef and Chris legal advice about their two accidents.
Mr Upright told the Post & Times: “We are also working on a case of a man who came off his motorbike in Ellastone Road, Ellastone, last year which happened in similar circumstances.
“This gentleman, who lives in Bradnop, suffered a dislocation of his index finger along with served tendons. The council has denied liability saying that they carry out regular inspections on roads.
“But they have failed to maintain the roads where these incidents have happened.
“It is looking like road resurfacing is becoming more and more of a problem. The council appears to be doing these temporary coverings rather than doing a proper job in the first place.”
Councillor Simon Tagg, cabinet support member for transport and the connected county at Staffordshire County Council, said: “The road surface at Thorncliffe Bank has been inspected and engineers have ensured it is free from debris.
“This is not a location where we have previously had a problem, and have had no previous reports of excess grit on the road or complaints about its condition.
“We would encourage anyone who encounters a problem to report it directly to the council on 0300 111 8000 or via the website."