Council sued over charity cyclist’s pothole death

Martin Uzzell
Martin Uzzell
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The widow of a charity cyclist who died after hitting a pothole in North Yorkshire while on his bike says she has been left no option but to sue a council.

Martyn Uzzell, of Clevedon, Somerset, was killed in 2011 while on a fundraising ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats with two friends.

The accident involving the 51-year-old happened on the A65 in Giggleswick, after he hit a ditch in the road and was thrown into the path of a car.

An inquest into his death heard North Yorkshire Council had missed opportunities to repair the road - and the pothole had been the cause of the crash.

The hearing was also reportedly told a policeman had told the council about the hole, but the message had not been passed on.

Mr Uzzell’s widow Kate told the BBC she was angry because her husband’s death was totally preventable.

She also said she would be taking civil action against the unitary authority after the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to press corporate manslaughter charges.

She said: “They had been warned, they had inspected and they still did nothing - it’s just appalling.

“(Suing the council) is not what I wanted to do.

“But I wanted there to be a prosecution and for them to stand up and be counted.”

A council spokeswoman said: “Our sympathies remain with the family of Martyn Uzzell following his tragic fatal accident.”

North Yorkshire will be hosting a large proportion of this summer’s Tour de France Grand Depart. The route will go from Leeds to Harrogate on the first day and from York to Sheffield on day two.