Cyclist injured in pothole crash

Sarah Matthews was hurt when her bike hit a pothole near her home in Fernhurst.

Sarah Matthews was hurt when her bike hit a pothole near her home in Fernhurst.

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A keen cyclist got a nasty shock when a pothole in Fernhurst sent her bike reeling and left her with cuts and bruises.

Sarah Matthews was just yards away from her home in Hawksfold Lane West when the hole clipped her wheels, leavings deep grazes to her legs and arms.

The 56-year-old said it was her birthday at the time, but that things could have been a lot worse.

Sarah said: “I was just cycling along and I felt the back wheel touch something and the next minute I was skidding across the other side of the road – fortunately there was no traffic coming – and I came off onto my right side. It’s just a small hole, but it must have done something to my wheel.”

A member of Sussex Cyclists’ Association, Sarah is an experienced cyclist who won a medal last year for long distance racing. She has written to the highways department about the issue, which she says is ‘an accident waiting to happen’.

“The surfaces of roads round here are deplorable and when it gets sunny it’s harder to see in light and shade,” she said.

“Cycling is really, really growing and there are more people getting out on the roads and I just think there are going to be more horrific accidents.”

She added that roads in the neighbouring county of Hampshire were of a much higher standard than in West Sussex, with holes fixed properly instead of ‘that bitumen and gravel we get’.

Included in her letter were examples of potholes recently repaired at the junction of Vann Road and the A286 in Fernhurst village centre and Luckings Hill Lane.

She explained: “I’d just like them to take a bit more care of the roads. I very much feel that the part of the county that we’re in, the north-west corner, gets forgotten.

“The county council aren’t aware of how frosty it gets round here.”

Among Sarah’s cycling acquaintances is Warren Peters, who had to undergo extensive facial surgery after he hit a monster pothole while cycling home from work in Milland.

The incident in 2009 left him with multiple fractures and unable to eat for several weeks.

West Sussex County Council has recently been awarded £850,000 by central government towards pothole repairs in the county as part of a Pothole Action Fund.

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