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Claim for Cycling Injuries due to a Poor Road Surface Resolved in Court

April 4, 2016

A claim for cycling injuries due to a poor road surface has been resolved in Edinburgh´s Court of Session, with the injured cyclist being awarded £100,000.

David Robinson, a fifty-two year old chartered surveyor from Edinburgh, was cycling with members of the Edinburgh Cycling Club when – on 1st December 2013 – the group of twelve riders approached the bridge crossing the Biggar Water on the A701 near Broughton.

Suddenly, the front wheel of David´s bike lodged in a metal groove in the road surface. David was catapulted into the air and landed on his right arm – suffering multiple cuts and bruises and fracturing his wrist and elbow.

An investigation into David´s cycling accident found that the groove was one of several joints between an old masonry arch and a newer concrete construction that had been built in 1990 and that sat proud of the road surface.

David sought legal advice and made a claim for cycling injuries due to a poor road surface against Scottish Borders Council – alleging that the exposed groove represented a hazard in the road that local authority had failed to deal with.

Scottish Borders Council contested the claim for cycling injuries due to a poor road surface on the grounds that the exposed groove did not constitute a defect, and that David´s accident was more likely attributable to his own lack of care.

The case went to the Court of Session in Edinburgh, where Lady Wolffe heard that the edges of the grooves would not have been exposed if work carried out by the council in May 2015 had been completed competently and brought the level of the roads surface up to or above the level of the exposed joints.

The judge dismissed Scottish Borders Council´s argument that David should have taken more care while cycling along the road, saying that there was no evidence to support claims that David was riding inappropriately “in either speed or manner, having regard to the weather and road conditions”.

Finding in David´s favour, Lady Wolffe awarded £100,000 in settlement of the claim for cycling injuries due to a poor road surface – an amount that had been agreed prior to the hearing should Scottish Borders Council be found at fault.