Crash on Cyclepath

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
MurF
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Crash on Cyclepath

Postby MurF » 6 Jan 2020, 5:06pm

Hi, I had a crash on a cycle path last night. The crash happened because of a metal railing fence that had become detached from one side allowing it to swing out onto the cycle path. Due to the railings being black I didn't see it until the last moment unfortunately hitting it. The railing was only moved out about 12 inches into the cycle way, meaning that when I hit it, I hit the end (not into the side of the railings but straight into the hard end). Obviously I've survived the crash, I automatically mend!! But my bike doesn't.
Also someone (I believe it's the local council) owns it, and haven't inspected or checked for dangers etc.
Now I'm approaching the local council as it's there cycle path. Does anyone have experience of talking to local councils about dangerous cyclepaths and do I stand any chance of getting my bike repaired by them? or the cost covered?
The bike is only a week old and now has wobbly handlebars which make for a very bad ride.
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PT1029
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Re: Crash on Cyclepath

Postby PT1029 » 6 Jan 2020, 5:48pm

As the bike is new, get the/a shop to cost up reinstatement as new.
Re injuries, get photos of bruises/cuts before they disappear/heal. If you had medical treatment, try to get some record of that.
It is probably easier to get an injury lawyer to claim for your injuries than one to claim for damage to your bike (a claim for injury may well cover the cost of repair).

Generally if a council can show they have inspected things at the prescribed frequency, they usually are deemed not liable, as far as I understand it.
If the fence fault had previously been reported to them, they become liable. Checking on fix my street may/may not show up a report (it could have been reported by phone). However, it might not be the council's fence.......
If the fence is a private fence owned by what looks like a house(?) beside the cycle path, then the claim would probably be on the fence owner's insurance. If the house is rented, it might depend on the rental contract as to who is responsible for the fence (though I would say in general landlords are responsible for the property's maintenance).
I expect someone may come along with a more definitive answer.

If you are Cycling UK member, then look here, they may be able to help you:- https://www.cyclinguk.org/incidentline

You might well be covered on your own household insurance (but they might up next year's premium if you claim, so cost up the bike repair first!
Your photo suggests you have a front light, which will work in your favour (or is it camera flash?).

dim
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Re: Crash on Cyclepath

Postby dim » 6 Jan 2020, 7:06pm

ouch! ... what light were you using?

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mjr
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Re: Crash on Cyclepath

Postby mjr » 6 Jan 2020, 11:19pm

PT1029 wrote:Generally if a council can show they have inspected things at the prescribed frequency, they usually are deemed not liable, as far as I understand it.

That's the key point and all the rest seemed ok to me this late at night. I would add I've had a minor payout (£50ish) despite the council having inspected as required and so on, but the road was obviously unsafe and left unsafe overnight for no reason ever adequately explained (I suspect human error). If there is any sign the fence was installed incorrectly, such as the wrong nuts, they might still have to pay despite inspecting?

But it's probably a householder's fence so this is all moot. It shouldn't be across the highway and seems like a simple claim.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Norman H
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Re: Crash on Cyclepath

Postby Norman H » 7 Jan 2020, 12:49pm

I would go back and have a closer look at that fence. It looks as though someone may have modified it to gain easier access to the front door.

MikeF
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Re: Crash on Cyclepath

Postby MikeF » 7 Jan 2020, 12:59pm

mjr wrote:
But it's probably a householder's fence so this is all moot. It shouldn't be across the highway and seems like a simple claim.

Agreed. Whose fence is it? Asking the householder might be the easiest way of determining who owns the fence, but perhaps the key point is who erected the fence.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

9494arnold
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Re: Crash on Cyclepath

Postby 9494arnold » 7 Jan 2020, 1:21pm

I put a claim in to the Council after trashing a pair of wheels in a very large pothole in the road, which they had painted round but not done anything about , I was behind a bus and in it before I could get a view of it (Yes it was that big) .
I think the fact they had marked it did have an impact on their decision to pay.

fastpedaller
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Re: Crash on Cyclepath

Postby fastpedaller » 7 Jan 2020, 2:05pm

In my (and a family member's ) experience, they'll still say thy aren't liable, even if they've marked it. The wheel * tyre of my Sister's car (brand new less than a week earlier) was wrecked - A solicitor appointed, who basically said "the court will side with the council". I had similar with a wrecked bike frame.. If pushed they (Council) then start bleating that they are looking after the Council Tax payers' funds.

hemo
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Re: Crash on Cyclepath

Postby hemo » 7 Jan 2020, 4:32pm

The fence is typical of new housing estates cropping up they have it running between the road and the path in front of said houses and is used to protect the shrubs/garden bordering the path as well as giving the estate an air of better surroundings.. Possibly some one is too lazy to walk the path to one end so may have undone the post/railing joint.
These estates are not council run but run by a management agency for the developers, each tenant/property owner has to pay a yearly maintenance fee for the up keep of gardens and street furniture etc,etc.
The claim will not be against the local council but with developers management agency.

MurF
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Re: Crash on Cyclepath

Postby MurF » 7 Jan 2020, 4:46pm

dim wrote:ouch! ... what light were you using?

Its a Raleigh RSP RX480 (The older original one). I only use it in built up areas, for country roads I have a better 'high' beam that I use with it, but that's too much for normal night time cycling.

MurF
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Re: Crash on Cyclepath

Postby MurF » 7 Jan 2020, 5:02pm

Thanks folks for replies. I'm seeing very similar to yourselves, is it a council problem, or a homeowner problem or even as Hemo says a managment agancy problem.

Interestingly the estate is new, built a couple of years ago. As Hemo says, I believe the railings aren't owned by the households (the railings run around the set of houses) and some has open the railings turning them into a gate! (I'm not mentioning that too much, just the fact that the railings are loose and 'move' out into the cycle path).

Also the developers say it's the councils problem.

The local council have said it's the county council.

And guess what, the county council won't state if they are responsible for the railings (wonder why).

More over, on the county councils website (they asked me to put in a ticket) you can't place an problem or fault on the road as there map is way out of date and doesn't show the road or even a development/houses on satellite mode.
Also I tried fix my street, but again the road isn't on it and you can't place a ticket there as the satellite map doesn't show any development or houses. This is interesting because if you tried to put a fault on the road or cycle path etc, you can't on any system. I have told them this and I'm waiting for a reply to why they haven't got the map or ability to put a ticket or fault in the correct area!! Therefore if someone wanted to inform the council, they have no way of marking and identifying the fault. So if the county council do manage the area and are responsible for it, then in my view the county council are at fault as they have no way for reporting the fault in the first place.

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mjr
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Re: Crash on Cyclepath

Postby mjr » 7 Jan 2020, 5:18pm

MurF wrote:So if the county council do manage the area and are responsible for it, then in my view the county council are at fault as they have no way for reporting the fault in the first place.

If this was near me, I'd be checking whether the council's Transport Asset Management Plan or the law required such a fault report system to be available - if it does, I suspect that weakens any defence the council has against a claim!
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Polkey
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Re: Crash on Cyclepath

Postby Polkey » 7 Jan 2020, 5:32pm

I can't speak for every local authority, but my local council will gather all the relevant information when a claim is made, such as inspection frequency, pothole details etc, and then pass it on to their insurance. Council's themselves don't actually defend against a claim, works much the same way as an individual making a claim against a motorist for example, it would normally be handled by the insurance companies.

atlas_shrugged
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Re: Crash on Cyclepath

Postby atlas_shrugged » 7 Jan 2020, 5:33pm

Very sorry to hear of your crash into an unexpected obstacle.

I am surprised there has not been the usual queue of folk on this thread victim blaming and suggesting you use better lights and that they always cycle to the conditions blah blah.

Anecdotal evidence is clear that cycle paths are treated as zero priority for maintenance as compared to roads for motor vehicles. I do not believe that we have any hope of cycle paths being patrolled and defects reported, What I think should be possible is for a spec of what a cycle path is and then for these paths to be patrolled on a regular basis by autonomous vehicles and any defects reported and rectified.

Travellers to MK will notice autonomous vehicles travelling on the redways. They are quite cute. Fitted with Lidar etc they could check all kinds of violations of the cyclepaths and the spec.

Marcus Aurelius
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Re: Crash on Cyclepath

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 7 Jan 2020, 6:38pm

Get as much evidence about the state of the cycle path ( photos etc ) as you can, get a few quotes to get your bike professionally repaired. Then write to the council, and let them know. They usually have departments involved with insurance for exactly this sort of thing. Let the insurers take care of it.