Anger at Fife potholes after speedway cyclist’s crash

Jamie beside the pothole that threw him off his bike.
Jamie beside the pothole that threw him off his bike.

A mum has called on Fife Council to take action on potholes in roads across Fife.

Caroline Penny’s move came after her 16-year-old son Jamie was thrown from his bike after hitting a pothole in Newport’s West Road.

Despite going over a wall after hitting the pothole at around 20mph, Caroline said Jamie “managed to escape with some serious bruising, a sprained wrist and possibly a broken toe”.

An up-and-coming track, road and speedway cyclist – he recently took a bronze in the Scottish track championships – Jamie had to have five days off his bike, which did not fare so well in the accident. The £2000 carbon bike will have to be replaced.

“It could have been much worse if there had been on-coming traffic and he had veered into it,” Caroline added, “as cars are parked at on the roadway at this point of the road and not everyone gives way to cyclists.”

Jamie was, in fact, signalling his thanks to a driver who had given way to him when he hit the pothole and took the tumble.

Caroline added that she was part of a group actively trying to get more people out on their bikes and commented: “We are concerned at the lack of understanding and reluctance to fill in any pothole regardless of depth – from first hand experience they are a massive safety issue.”

Councillor Jonny Tepp has taken up the issue: “Jamie is an experienced rider and it seems to me that this is the sort of accident that could happen to anyone.

“I have been in contact with relevant council officers and have asked for a site meeting to look this road and to request action. There are many cycling enthusiasts in Newport and Wormit who use this road daily.”

Fife Council reckons around 450 road defects are in progress of repair every day, and operates a policy where the nature of the pothole determines the council’s response speed, some within 24 hours, the less serious within five working days.

Fife also reports a reducing trend in the number of safety defects identified over the last seven years and an improving trend in carriageway condition, as measured by the Scottish Road Maintenance Condition Survey.