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Third cyclist joins legal fight against council over the same pothole on Exeter road

By AWalmesley  |  Posted: April 16, 2014

Cyclist Adam Sainsbury sustained a serious wrist injury in a bike accident on Pinhoe Road

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A third cyclist has joined a legal fight over a pothole blamed for a spate of accidents on a busy city road.

Adam Sainsbury, 33, was riding down Pinhoe Road at 30mph when the wheel of his £1,500 road bike went into the hole – sending him crashing into a lamp post.

The Thomson Reuters employee, who teaches youngsters to cycle in his spare time, was taken to hospital with a serious wrist injury.

“I was knocked off balance and careered into the lamp post – smashing-up my wrist” he said.

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“My helmet was totally destroyed. If I hadn’t been wearing it, I probably wouldn’t be here.”

He underwent a operation on his left wrist, leaving him with metal pins and plates in his arm.

But several months after the accident on October 29, Mr Sainsbury has only regained around 15% movement in the wrist.

He said: “I’m still taking pain killers and having physiotherapy. The surgeons are aiming for 50% mobility, but it’s difficult to say if I’ll even get that much movement back.”

Mr Sainsbury has re-started riding for Exeter Wheelers Cycling Club where he is also an academy coach for eight to 15-year-olds.

“It’s good to be back riding again, but I won’t be able to race all season and I can’t change gear with my left hand,” he said.

The ‘invisible’ pothole by the Summer Lane junction was blamed for another two cyclists being knocked unconscious on the road.

Lee Bingham, 43, was riding to collect his son from school on October 4 when he was thrown over the handlebars.

John Thacker, 72, suffered a number of injuries on August 20 minutes after leaving for a 25-mile round trip to East Devon.

Devon County Council, the authority responsible for managing and maintaining some 8,000 miles of road , refused to accept liability for any of the accidents.

A council spokesman said: “We cannot comment on individual cases.”

Mr Sainsbury has vowed to fight for compensation over the accidents – and is considering taking a joint case to court against the authority.

“All three of us hit the pothole and nothing was done about it. They should accept responsibility for accidents,” he said.

According to details obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, the council received numerous reports last year of potholes by the crossing.

Following the wettest winter on record, more than 15,000 new potholes were reported on the county’s roads.

The highway authority said the repair bill stood at £767m – and admitted little could be done to stop the backlog spiralling further.

But after reducing its own spending on roads, it received almost £7 million to help repair the damage.

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