A CYCLIST told today how he is still suffering from horror injuries suffered in a pothole crash five years ago, as a new report reveals the city council has forked out nearly £65,000 in compensation for bike accidents.
Dad-of-five Andrew Slorance, 47, relived the harrowing day in a bid to draw attention to the dangers potholes pose to cyclists after an investigation by Cycling UK.
Mr Slorance was cycling home after work in 2013, heading from Newington Road, along Minto Street and Mayfield Gardens towards Cameron Toll when he lost control of his bike as it hit the crater.
Drivers had to swerve to avoid him as he tumbled to the road breaking his elbow and causing injuries to his face.
He described the aftermath: “I remained conscious and quickly dragged myself to the kerb.
“I was very grateful to have a few drivers stop and help me. I was able to sit against a wall but was bleeding heavily from my mouth.”
Mr Slorance was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and had to later return to have two large pins put into his elbow.
Despite the severity of his injuries and witnesses stating they had seen Mr Slorance hit the hole in the road, without proof that the pothole had been there for a certain length of time or had been reported and not repaired, he was not eligible for compensation.
“As well as the physical pain from the accident, which I still experience now through an elbow that I still can’t fully straighten, I suffered a whole range of mental and other emotions. I was angry, I was embarrassed, I was anxious, and I was – still am – just a wee bit more nervous every time I get on a bike,” said Mr Slorance. “I was angry that it happened in the first place through no obvious fault of my own. But I was also angry that I never got an apology from the authorities. And angry that I had to go to great – and ultimately fruitless lengths – to prove some form of negligence.
“I was anxious. It took me almost a year to get out on the road again. I tried to pretend that it wasn’t fear, that I wasn’t getting flashbacks. But I was just lying to myself.
“I also still feel a sense of frustration. I’m back on the bike now and I’ve managed to put a lot of the bad memories behind me. I remain, as I always have been, a big advocate of cycling. But now I have to deal with people saying ‘if it’s so safe, how come you ended up in such a mess’. And that’s not an easy one to answer.”
New figures show over the last five years the local authority has paid out £65,966 to cyclists and £111,054 to motorists as compensation for pothole related incidents.
Cllr Lesley Macinnes, said: “We appreciate the frustration potholes and other defects cause to road users, that’s why we continue to invest millions of pounds each year to maintain and improve Edinburgh’s roads network.
“We’re making real progress to raise standards – and we’re seeing the impact with our Roads Improvement Plan. This was introduced last year and has helped us to reduce our backlog for repairs particularly for our category one defects.