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Town hall pays £6,000 after cycle injury

PUBLISHED: 09:54 14 January 2010 | UPDATED: 17:29 25 August 2010

A 76-YEAR-old cycling enthusiast who was injured in an accident caused by a pothole in the road received an out-of-court settlement of over £6,000 from a council. Kenneth Atkinson, from Welling, suffered a badly dislocated shoulder after he hit a pothole

A 76-YEAR-old cycling enthusiast who was injured in an accident caused by a pothole in the road received an out-of-court settlement of over £6,000 from a council.

Kenneth Atkinson, from Welling, suffered a badly dislocated shoulder after he hit a pothole and was thrown from his bike on Oakfield Lane, Dartford, on May 30, 2007.

According to his lawyers Russell Jones and Walker, the pothole was meant to have been repaired five weeks prior to his accident but remained more than four inches deep.

Kent County Council, responsible for the stretch of road, initially denied liability, but it was revealed last Wednesday that an out of court settlement of £6,250 was reached with KCC and its contractors, Scotia Gas Networks.

Mr Atkinson, whose arm still hurts and limits his cycling, said: "Before the accident I was doing two 60 mile rides a week. I've had to cut that down by half.

"My arm aches constantly and it has meant that simple tasks or hobbies become painful, such as driving or playing musical instruments."

Paul Kitson, Partner at Russell Jones and Walker, said: "This case illustrates the difficulties of obtaining compensation from highway authorities.

"They rarely admit liability for accidents involving road defects."

KCC have now pledged £1 million to fix potholes and damage caused by the severe weather this Spring.

KCC leader Paul Carter said: "We are planning how we will tackle the problem of potholes now.

"We are increasing our budget by at least £1 million to get the roads repaired across Kent. The money for this has come from underspend elsewhere in the council budget.

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