The widow of a charity cyclist, Martyn Uzzell, who died when he hit a pothole on his bike, is to take legal action against North Yorkshire Council.

The tragedy happened in June 2011 when Mr Uzzell was cycling with two friends from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise money for a cancer and children’s charity. He died instantly after he was thrown from his bicycle into a car’s path after hitting a pothole. Only a month before, the council had inspected the road after the police had reported the hazard to them but had decided that immediate repairs were not necessary. An inquest last week determined that the council had missed opportunities to repair the road and that the condition of the road on this tragic occasion was the cause of the incident.

Charlene McAuliffe, case manager at Penningtons Manches LLP, said “Our sympathies are with Mr Uzzell’s family. Unfortunately, we see accidents like this too often. An authority has a responsibility to road users and, particularly where it is on notice of potential defects in the road, it is required to take reasonable steps to protect those users. In this case, the council clearly failed to do all that was reasonable which has resulted in a tragic loss of life. The recent weather has brought the issue of potholes into the limelight and the councils have a big repair job to do but the risk posed to cyclists is significant and a pro-active approach is essential.”