Man who fractured skull after going over pot hole on bicycle raises safety fears over state of Calderdale roads

Ron Winn suffered fractured skull and fractured elbow after going over a pot hole in Rosemary Lane, Siddal.
Ron Winn suffered fractured skull and fractured elbow after going over a pot hole in Rosemary Lane, Siddal.

A pensioner has slammed the state of Calderdale’s crumbling roads after fracturing his skull in a cycling accident in Halifax.

Ron Winn, 65, suffered a depressed fracture of the skull and a broken elbow after going over a pot hole in Rosemary Lane, Siddal, on May 21.

And Mr Winn, who has 50 years cycling experience and is a member of a cycling club said the Council need to take urgent action because the next person “might not be as lucky as him”.

“I am extremely lucky, The whole road system just seems to be disintegrating,” he said.

“I’m concerned about the safety of other cyclists. I accept that things like pot holes are going to happen but by this time of the year they should be filled in again.

“Someone might lose their life because of this.”

Mr Winn had an operation on his injured elbow on Tuesday and he said if that didn’t go well he might never be able to ride a bike again.

Recounting the accident, Mr Winn said: “As soon as I turned on to Rosemary Lane I thought it was full of quite big pot holes. So I knocked off the speed. But I missed seeing that pot hole completely. I hit it and thought ‘this is going to hurt’.

“I was thrown off my bike and I ended up on the far side of the road, having been thrown 10 feet.

“It’s normal to get straight back up and check the bike over but I couldn’t even do that. I knew if I stayed conscious I would be fine, so I just put all my thoughts into staying awake. After about ten minutes a motorist came along and called the ambulance. The ambulance responder was there in about three or four minutes. Because my head was swollen quite a lot he decided to call the air ambulance. They made the decision it was better for me to go to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. And I ended up going in a land ambulance.”

Mr Winn, who lives in Southowram, was treated for his injures and kept in hospital for two days for observation. He said he is considering taking legal action against Calderdale Council following the accident and also criticised its customer service.

He said he had called the authority’s Customer First line to enquire about replacing his glasses which were broken in the accident, but was talked to rudely and asked why he hadn’t called on the day of the incident.

He also said he was told that someone would phone him back, but was only contacted on Thyrsda, June 11 - three weeks after the accident.

After receiving a complaint from one of Mr Winn’s friends, Calderdale Council sent staff to repair Rosemary Close the day after the accident.

And Ian Gray, Calderdale Council’s Director of Economy and Environment, said the authority will look to repair any damaged road surfaces they are made aware of.

“We are looking into a formal complaint made about Mr Winn’s accident and will respond in due course,” said Mr Gray. “We do everything we can to keep our roads in good condition. We have a robust maintenance programme, inspecting roads at frequent intervals. When potholes are found, we prioritise repairs according to where the potholes are and the impact they may have on road users.

“We deal with repairs within one hour, 24 hours or five days depending on priority.

“We welcome and encourage residents and visitors to report any potholes that they find, either through our website, email or phone.”