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'Terrible roads' caused cyclist's traumatic injuries on Hauxton estate

By Mike Scialom

Markus Mathea dislocated his shoulder when he fell off his bike, yards from his house, due to this potholed road surface. Picture: Richard Marsham
Markus Mathea dislocated his shoulder when he fell off his bike, yards from his house, due to this potholed road surface. Picture: Richard Marsham

IT technician Markus Mathea was within yards of his home after a 20-mile bike ride when he “approached a speed bump and uncompleted road with potholes”. He came off his bike – a helmet protected him from more serious injury – and dislocated his shoulder.

The injuries left him off work and looking out at the road, St Edmunds Way in Hauxton, which was the cause of his accident.

“It has had a major impact on my daily routine and my quality of life,” he said. “I have sustained injuries to my right shoulder, my right arm and neck and suffer pains. I’ve lost my independence and I’m unable to fully perform basic tasks such as personal care, to focus for long time on work and study, do sport or any physical activity, drive a car safely, go out and socialise or get a full sleep at night.

“I have been left traumatised and the accident has affected my physical, mental and emotional well-being. It requires a long-term process of healing, physiotherapy and mental and emotional support.”

Markus contacted the county council, if only to prevent further accidents, but it turned out the road is not under its jurisdiction.

“We don’t own the road, it’s not on a public highway,” explained a spokesperson for Cambridgeshire County Council. “It’s on the developer’s land and it’s up to the developer to have the road registered.”

This is apparently a common policy: developers agree to pay for the costs of maintaining the road for periods of up to five years or longer. A spokesperson for Redrow Homes South Midlands, said: “We’re aware of the cyclist who fell from his bicycle on a road near to his home on our Sanderson Manor development and have been in contact to check his welfare and discuss his concerns.

“We are still reviewing the exact circumstances surrounding the incident.

“All roads in the development are managed for safe use and street lighting is installed to specification with dusk to dawn sensors, illuminating roads in the dark. While parts of the development are still under construction, sections of road have yet to receive their final surfacing, which is something all residents are made aware of before moving in.”

Markus has been living in the area for six months with his partner Dr Romina Durigon.

“It could happen anywhere,” he says of the pothole issue. “The roads are in a terrible state, people are having accidents all over the region. I feel like a second-class citizen here.”


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