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Accident after road repair

Last week, I was riding my bike along a wet country road in North Wales and was negotiating a bend when my bike lost traction and I ended up in a ditch. Fortunately I was able to pick myself up and when I went to inspect the road I noticed that the road had recently been repaired and the seal at the edge of the repair looked much wider than normal – about 3 inches wide. As I hurt my shoulder and have been off work and losing wages I was wondering if I can claim for my injury and the damage to my bike?

James, Chester, by e-mail



Depending on the type of road, the local council or the Highway Authority are responsible for maintaining the road surface and all repairs. Authorities often contract this work out but the contractors have a duty to make sure the road repairs comply with statutory requirements and repair guidelines.

The seal around a repair is known as overbanding, is recognised to be a potential accident risk to motorcyclists particularly on longitudinal joints because it can cause skidding. If wider than 20mm, then the material used for the overbanding is supposed to have a grit like substance added to provide adequate wet skidding resistance, and it should never be more than 40mm wide or 3mm thick.

If you can prove that the overbanding did not comply with the requirements then it would likely be considered a hazard and you may well be able to bring a claim against either the authority or the contractors for misfeasance and/or negligence.



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