Biggin Hill pothole crash leaves cyclist badly injured
A WOMAN left unconscious after falling off her bicycle trying to avoid a pothole in a Biggin Hill road has called for better road repairs.
Mary Ireland, 61, was riding along Buckhurst Road with nine other cyclists from the Meridian Cycling Club on the way from High Elms to Oxted when the accident happened.
TOOK A TUMBLE: Mary Ireland on the road near the Spinning Wheel at the top of Westerham Hill where she came off her bike trying avoid a pothole
She said: "We always call out if there's a bit of bad road. Because it's a really bad road, it was 'hole; mind the hole'.
"I remember feeling very unsure about how bad it was. I'm an experienced cyclist. We weren't going fast."
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Mrs Ireland, who lives in Hither Green, said she went to cycle around a big pothole on a small strip of space next to the unmade edge of the road, in order to avoid riding out into the middle of the road and risking meeting traffic.
But as she tried to avoid the pothole, the bike slipped off the road into the gully alongside, sending her flying.
Mrs Ireland was knocked out by the fall and was taken to hospital where she was kept in overnight. She cracked bones in her elbow and three in her cheek.
She said: "I was lucky that there wasn't a car coming along at the same time. I was picking bits of road out of my face for a while.
"It's not just me that's hurt, the people who saw it were traumatised. We just go out to cycle together. We potter along and it's really enjoyable. It was just very upsetting for them."
Mrs Ireland said she is planning to write to Bromley Council, which is responsible for the road, to ask it to improve the road surface to make it safer for cyclists.
She said: "It's important to look after the roads not just for cars but for people like myself on cycles. What looks like a small hole to a car can be a problem for cyclists.
"I go to the inside to avoid cars, if the edges aren't finished off that's a hazard as well."
She said she had decided against seeking compensation from the council for her injuries, in the hope the money could be better used fixing the roads.
Council spokesman Andrew Rogers said: "One of our highways inspectors has looked at the road and we will be making a repair at a particular location on the road."
He added Buckhurst Road is provisionally on the list to be resurfaced in two years' time.