7th Dec, 2019

Claims potholes still being left unrepaired three years after cyclist death

Laura Kearns 25th Jun, 2019

POTHOLES are still being left unrepaired three years on from the death of a cyclist, it has been claimed.

Kate Vanloo from Napton died following a head on crash with a car on Holt Lane just outside the village in January 2016.

The mum-of-three had been cycling home from a morning training ride with Rugby Triathlon Club when she hit a pothole in the road and was thrown from her bike into the path of an oncoming car.

The 10cm deep pothole was covered by a puddle and the 58-year-old was unable to avoid it due to oncoming traffic.

Warwickshire County Council contractors had been due to repair the hole in March 2015, but due to ‘financial reasons’ repairs were halted between July and September. Council policy said it should have been filled in within 28 days.

It was due to be fixed before Christmas but the person tasked with the job could not find the pothole, despite having GPS co-ordinates and a picture as reference. Instead a pothole was repaired on a different road three miles away.

Following the triathlete’s death the council said it would be stepping up repairs.

But a concerned resident this week claimed potholes were still being left unrepaired for months.

He told the Observer: “The council has not improved fixing the potholes, some are sprayed and left for months. There is one on Shuckburgh Road that was sprayed eight months ago and still has not been repaired and I know of many more.”

The claims come days after Mrs Vanloo’s three sons were awarded £388,000 in compensation by the high court.

Warwickshire County Council – which will pay a quarter of the settlement – said the council had made changes including all repair teams carrying GPS devices programmed with the pothole location. A picture of each completed job was also uploaded to a database once it is completed.

It says there are currently 16 potholes in Napton due to be repaired and it aims to fill all reported holes within 28 days – although

the council was not able to confirm to the Observer how long the Shuckburgh Road pothole had remained unrepaired.

A council spokesman added: “Since this tragic accident occurred we have taken action and made several improvements to our processes for responding to reported faults and making repairs on the highway.

“As a council safety remains of the highest priority and we will continue to work with our partners to keep all road users across the county safe.”

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