1. Andrew Fletcher

Cyclist Fall Inquest - "high probability" he'd hit pot-hole

Roger Hamer

A police officer has told an inquest there is a 'high probability' that a pensioner who died after falling from his bike had hit a pot-hole.

PC David Holmes said he found it hard to find any other explanation for how 83-year old Roger Hamer died in March 2016.

Mr Hamer, from Walmersley in Bury, was riding his bicycle on Bury New Road, where residents had complained to the local council about the number of pot-holes.

PC Holmes said the weather was fine and Mr Hamer's bike was in good working order.

Although he would have had time to see the pot-holes and take evasive action, PC Holmes said evidence from witnesses made it most likely that he had struck a pot-hole.

The inquest also heard evidence from Peter Stokes, highways officer for Bury council.

He insisted the council's policy on inspection and intervention met existing national guidelines. These require pot holes more than 40mm deep to be repaired, but inspections had shown there were no pot-holes that deep on the section of the road where the accident happened.

He said then council's highways team met the requirements of a national code for inspecting and repairing roads.

Earlier, the inquest heard how residents frequently complained about the state of the road and the number of potholes.

Although no witnesses saw what caused the crash it happened at the site of a road defect previously reported to the council by Helen Wesolowski, who lived nearby.

She estimated it to be the size of a dinner plate and 8cm deep.

Assistant Coroner Peter Sigee told a jury at North Manchester Coroners Court that they would have to consider how well Bury Council had repaired and maintained the road.

He said: "The main issues are likely to be the circumstances of Mr Hamer's fall from the bike, the condition of that part of the road at the time and whether the condition of the road was causative of his fall."