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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 19:20 
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Location: Oxfordshire
Hello there everybody, LTNS! Hope everybody is well.

Just thought I'd regale you with a little story that has led to some current misery for me.

About a month ago I was riding my motorcycle along a main road in London. It was a clear dry day, though it was a road I was unfamiliar with. My speed was commensurate with the conditions, and within the 40mph limit, or ever so slightly over at most. I spotted a speed camera as I was nearly level with it, as it was concealed on approach by a bus stop. As is the norm, I instinctively braked, and glanced down at my speedo. In doing so I missed the sunken manhole cover, surrounded by broken tarmac, which was slap-bang in the middle of my lane. As my front wheel crossed it I can only surmise that it got slightly slow and slightly off-line as it broke traction, as when it found grip on the other side the violent reaction of the bike caused me to lose control and low-side.

I am ok, though I broke my fibula and am hopefully coming towards the end of my period on crutches in the next couple of weeks. The bike is repairable, though it'll probably be a Cat C write-off which I'll repurchase and repair. I'm currently looking at recovering my costs from TfL, but the conditions under which they are liable are not as straightforward as the road merely being in disrepair.

So what are the lessons I (and hopefully others) can take away from this? First and foremost, a fine and points are better than a broken body and a broken bike; even if I'd have been doing well over the limit (which I was not) I'd have been much better off cruising through and taking my lumps. Secondly, even in good conditions the roads can be hazardous, and even apparently well-maintained roads can contain hazards. Yes, the manhole is in a damned stupid location, right in the middle of the lane, right by a speed camera, which itself was obscured, such that even if it was level and serviceable it would pose a hazard to motorcycles, particularly in the wet. Thirdly, always, always, always wear the correct gear when riding. I would have been much worse off had I not been fully suited and booted; indeed my only real injury was in fact caused by my boot saving my ankle, thus breaking a bone of relatively minor importance. Finally, report as many potholes as you can. If they get fixed then we are all better off, and if they do not then the fact that they have been reported and not rectified means that anyone who is unfortunate enough to fall foul of them can gain recompense from the appropriate authority.

If anyone has any experience of reclaiming damages caused by potholes I'd be very interested to hear from you.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 20:12 
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Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 23:26
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Location: Treacletown ( just north of M6 J3),A MILE OR TWO PAST BEDROCK
Sorry to hear about the break, but pleased it's not too bad and you're on the mend . Locally it's easy to report a pothole -possibly the same on other county sites as we've got a pothole repair address .BUT to those reporting potholes a word of advice - insist on a reference number . As with all LG sites there's a black hole .I've had to report some twice or more and even via my councillor and discovered that without a reference number there's a chance that the reports have got lost .
Get well soon

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lets bring sanity back to speed limits.
Drivers are like donkeys -they respond best to a carrot, not a stick .Road safety experts are like Asses - best kept covered up ,or sat on


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 20:20 
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Sorry to hear about your nasty, Robin but unfortunately,I would put money on if you reported a dangerous pothole and a faulty/damaged speed camera, in the same location at the same time, that the camera would be repaired well before the pothole, in the name of road safety.

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My views do not represent Safespeed but those of a driver who has driven for 39 yrs, in all conditions, at all times of the day & night on every type of road and covered well over a million miles, so knows a bit about what makes for safety on the road,what is really dangerous and needs to be observed when driving and quite frankly, the speedo is way down on my list of things to observe to negotiate Britain's roads safely, but I don't expect some fool who sits behind a desk all day to appreciate that.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 13:55 
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Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 16:34
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Location: Somewhere between a rock and a hard place
Sorry to hear it Robin. I’ve had a similar incident, (but near miss), myself. Because I was bolt upright I managed to stay on, which was more good luck than judgement TBH. All I could do to lesson the blow was stand on the pegs like a racing jockey and cringe at what was to come.

Even so, it’s left a dink in my front wheel rim which, so I am told, would be unwise to try and knock back out on an alloy wheel. Fortunately, it doesn’t affect either the balance, handling or tyre pressure but it is noticeable, especially when spun on the paddock stand. :(

It would cost too much to buy a new wheel, so I imagine, and I didn’t think I could pursue the Council because I had no witnesses or picture etc. So, rightly or wrongly, I didn’t think I would get anywhere with a claim.

One thing it reminded me of, however, is to try and follow any vehicle in their wheel line. It’s unavoidable to always do this and it also doesn't always give you the best road line of sight ahead. But, especially on a motorway, there have been times when I have suddenly happened upon a pothole which the driver in front has avoided by straddling it; wheels either side. So of course if I’m directly behind him and following in the middle, any pothole can appear as if from nowhere; especially unavoidable when two-up.

Not teaching my gran to suck eggs of course; I’m just relaying my experiences. I’m off to the south of France in a couple of weeks and I know you’re well travelled, so any tips or updates are welcome. I think I need two breathalysers, a hi-viz jacket, spare bulbs and an inch of tread on both wheels or something... :doh:


Hope your leg heals well and quickly. I, er, don’t have all the gear. Since I’ve put on weight my leather trousers don’t fit and I can’t afford a new pair just yet. I could forgo the trip and buy some but I haven’t had a good hol for years and I want to do it before another near-stroke ends what little pleasure I have left in my life. I want to go over the Millau bridge and I’m told the roads under and around there are something to behold. :)

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The views expressed in this post are personal opinions and do not necessarily represent the views of Safe Speed.
You will be branded a threat to society by going over a speed limit where it is safe to do so, and suffer the consequences of your actions in a way criminals do not, more so than someone who is a real threat to our society.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:29 
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I think you can only claim if the hole in question had been reported or there is a good chance that the council should have already inspected the road.

Have a look on fixmystreet and see whether it is there already.

No harm in having a go at getting them to pay up and pointing out how much more dangerous potholes are for motorcyclists. No win no fee injury crowd??


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 23:54 
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Location: Highlands
Really sorry to hear of the injury that's a nasty injury ! (Even if you are trying to make light of it !)
(I broke my cheek in December and is it much better but I still have a mark on my face!)

The following is a list of various sources that you could look to for info : :)
http://www.highways.gov.uk/our-road-net ... -potholes/
Claims for damage caused by potholes

The Sec­re­tary of State for Trans­port, act­ing through the High­ways Agency, is under a statu­tory duty to main­tain trunk roads and motor­ways in Eng­land, a duty which is taken very seri­ously. Approx­i­mately £900 mil­lion is spent each year in ensur­ing that the roads for which the High­ways Agency is respon­si­ble are in a fit state for the traf­fic using them. How­ever, we at the High­ways Agency are not pre­tend­ing that the roads are per­fect. Nor does the leg­isla­tive frame­work which gov­erns our main­te­nance activ­i­ties require them to be per­fect. We do, how­ever, take all rea­son­able steps to ensure that the roads for which we are respon­si­ble are safe to use.

Pot­holes are an unfor­tu­nate con­se­quence of the heavy use to which our roads are sub­jected and the vagaries of the Eng­lish weather. As part of our pro­gramme of main­te­nance of our roads we take steps to fill in these pot­holes how­ever it is unre­al­is­tic to expect that all pot­holes will be imme­di­ately dealt with.

If your car is dam­aged as a result of dri­ving over a pot­hole in a trunk road or motor­way, you may wish to obtain advice as to whether you have a legal claim. If you make a claim we will of course give it proper con­sid­er­a­tion, but you should be aware that we will only pay out on claims if we con­sider that we are legally liable (or, of course, if a court decides we are legally liable).

If we con­sider that we have taken rea­son­able steps to keep the road in ques­tion safe and fit for pur­pose it must be expected that we will reject the claim. Our con­trac­tors are obliged to keep accu­rate main­te­nance records and, pro­vided the required main­te­nance regime has taken place, if a pot­hole or fault sud­denly devel­ops and dam­age to your vehi­cle occurs before the fault can be repaired, we will almost cer­tainly resist any claim in respect of such damage.

Should you wish to make a claim against the High­ways Agency aris­ing out of an inci­dent involv­ing pot­holes, in order to assist us in con­sid­er­ing your claim, we would ask that you

state the pre­cise loca­tion and time of the incident,
pro­vide any sup­port­ing evi­dence that you may have. But, please do not revisit the scene as a pedes­trian to take pho­tographs. What­ever the road, this is likely to be highly dan­ger­ous, and unau­tho­rised tres­pass on the motor­way net­work is a crim­i­nal offence.

The High­ways Agency uses pub­lic funds to man­age and main­tain the trunk road net­work. The pol­icy of only meet­ing claims for com­pen­sa­tion where a clear legal lia­bil­ity exists reflects the need to be fair and equi­table to all tax­pay­ers, road users or oth­er­wise. It also reflects the view that the Courts in Eng­land have con­sis­tently taken that it is unre­al­is­tic to expect high­ways to be per­fect, and faults such as pot­holes devel­op­ing due to adverse weather are almost inevitable.

Quote:
http://potholes.co.uk/claims/what_compensation
Obtain a full break down of costs for all damage caused by the pothole. If you incur additional costs, keep a break down of these but remember that you might not get any or all of your expenditure back and that any unrealistic or extravagant claims are likely to promote a negative response.

Remember that your compensation claim will take a while to be processed, and that you might not be able to claim for all the costs you incur. For example, if you hit a pothole and damage an alloy wheel you may be able to claim for the cost of the replacement wheel and tyre, but only for the one wheel – not four matching ones.

[and] http://potholes.co.uk/claims/step_by_step_guide

http://www.potholes.co.uk/councils
(Emergency Reporting : If you are reporting an emergency please do not report it online, but ring our Contact Centre on 0300 200 1003.

(If you let me know where it was I could maybe go gather info. (Now in SW London)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/roa ... amage.html
http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cars ... e-car.html
You might like this one especially ! :
http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cars ... istan.html

Really hope that you continue to make a good recovery and will be well soon. Be good to see you again !

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