A Met Office worker who cycled to work as part of a local Government scheme is to sue the council after he was thrown off his bike and seriously injured when he hit a pothole.
Luke Reeman needed extensive surgery for a shattered left wrist, broken arm and nerve damage and lost the feeling in his hand after he was pitched over the handlebars.
The 28-year-old, who started cycling to work two months ago to help Devon County Council cut carbon emissions, is seeking undisclosed compensation for ”life-changing” injuries.
Luke, of Exeter, Devon, was one of dozens of his co-workers who adopted the Met Office’s ‘bike to work’ scheme which was subsidised by the council.
He said: ”We were encouraged to join the bike to work scheme where they subsidise the cost of your bicycle and lots of people seemed to be getting involved.
”It seemed like an excellent way to keep fit and get to work, despite it being about 15 miles each way. But my route was full of potholes.
”I managed to avoid them for so long, but eventually I had an accident and that has left me with nerve damage and now I cannot feel my palm properly.
”It is such a busy road, I could easily have been hit by a vehicle and then it would have been much more serious.
”This road is supposed to be a priority route and inspected by the council once a month. I feel upset and angry that I have been left with an injury which will be with me for the rest of my life.”
He said there were many potholes on his 15-mile route to work which went unrepaired for months and he is now suing the council for causing the accident.
Luke, who works as an incident manager for the Met Office, bought a bicycle in January this year and began cycling to work.
But he was thrown off on March 19 when he hit the pothole on the A377 and his injuries required metal plates to be inserted into his left arm.
Luke was taken by ambulance to the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital hospital, where doctors gave him morphine for the pain.
He was forced to take several weeks off work and still faces months of agonising treatments and physiotherapy sessions.
Luke has now appointed lawyers to fight a compensation claim for an undisclosed sum against Devon County Council, the highways authority.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council cabinet member for highways and transportation, said the road in question had been regularly inspected.
He said: ”Our emergency repair teams inspected this road on February 17 and fixed any potholes they found.
”It was then inspected again on April 21 and the pothole near the pelican crossing outside the school was found, marked up and repaired on April 30.
”We still need people to act as our eyes and ears and report potholes to us as they find them to help us deal with them as quickly as possible.”