Leicester

Cyclists sue Leicestershire council over 'slippery' ford

Burroughs Road, Ratby, Image copyright Google
Image caption The surface under the water was "more slippery than ice" due to algae on Burroughs Road

Three cyclists who suffered fractures and other serious injuries after falling off their bikes while riding through a ford are suing a council.

The women said the surface under the water was "more slippery than ice" due to algae.

They now urging Leicestershire County Council to make the route on Burroughs Road in Ratby safer.

The authority said all road users are advised to "take extra care when negotiating fords".

Image copyright LDRS
Image caption Kirsty North (left) and Janet Fox said the "danger the ford poses is not clear at all"

The Local Democracy Reporting Service said Kirsty North, 50, and Janet Fox, 58, who were cycling together from Leicester in August, were not familiar with the road around the ford.

The pair said they tried to cross at a shallow area as there was no other safe way to pass, but both immediately fell off their bicycles. 

"We feel it is impossible for anyone to cross the ford on a bicycle without falling off," they said.

"The danger it poses is not clear at all, most people would consider a ford safe to cycle over if the water levels are low."

Ms Fox, of Loughborough, was taken to hospital with a fractured pelvis, bruising and open wounds to her elbow and hip. 

Ms North, of Leicester, was also diagnosed with a fractured pelvis and was admitted to hospital.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Leicestershire County Council said road users are advised to take extra care when negotiating fords

The next day, another woman from Leicester assumed the ford was a puddle and began to cycle through, but fell.

She fractured her shoulder in three places, which needed a metal plate to repair. She also sustained injuries to her legs, elbow and hands.

All three cyclists said the ford road sign and footbridge were concealed by an overgrown hedge. 

The women claim the county council was negligent for failing to maintain, for cyclists, safe passage of the highway; failing to prevent algae build-up; not providing adequate signage warning them of the dangers from the ford.

A Leicestershire County Council spokesperson said: "We were sorry to hear of the injuries sustained by the cyclists.

"We advise all road users to take extra care when negotiating fords which may be subject to variations in depths of water and possible changes to the road surface."

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