A pensioner was left bloodied and bruised after becoming the latest casualty of an ‘optical illusion’ cycle lane, which has seen almost 60 people injured in the last year.
Dave Dawson, 76, was visiting the high street in Keynsham, Somerset, earlier today when he sustained injuries to his hands and knees as he stepped off the curb’s edge.
It was revealed yesterday that 59 people had been injured on Keynsham High Street, where the cycle lane was installed last year after nine months of work.
Cyclists have blamed the similar appearance of the grey kerbs on one side and the white painted lines on the other for making the path look level, catching them out.
Pedestrian Mr Dawson, who is retired, was the latest victim today, when he was seen tripping over the edge of the curb before being helped up.
Pedestrian Mr Dawson, who is retired, was the latest victim of the ‘optical illusion’ cycle lane
While Mr Dawson is not planning to bring a claim, he said the council should admit it has ‘made a mistake’ with the lane
Dave Dawson, 76, was visiting the high street in Keynsham, Somerset, earlier today when he sustained injuries to his hands and knees as he stepped off the curb’s edge
Dozens of bike riders have been injured after falling off on a new cycle lane in Keynsham, near Bristol
A total of 21 people have started personal injury actions against Bath and North East Somerset Council, which spent nine months installing the cycle lane, it was also revealed yesterday.
And one local councillor has warned that if the situation does not improve, a cyclist could be fatally injured on the tricky section of road.
It has been revealed a total of 21 people have started personal injury actions against Bath and North East Somerset Council, which spent nine months installing the cycle lane.
While Mr Dawson is not planning to bring a claim, he said the council should admit it has ‘made a mistake’ with the lane.
Mr Dawson described his fall to BristolLive: ‘I was walking along the pavement, and it’s sort of like an optical illusion; it looks as is if it’s all level.
‘I was walking back towards the church and stepped with my right foot on the edge of the pavement because it looked flat, and I lost my balance and fell down.
‘I cut the palms of my hands and my knees a bit because the surface of the cycle lane is very sharp.
Cyclists say the ‘optical illusion’ lane is causing people to injure themselves as the kerb on one side and painted white lines are a similar colour
‘When I came back up the road, I was obviously quite conscious of the curb because I’d fallen over, and lo and behold, I fell over going back as well! Exactly the same.
‘The trouble is that in some places on the high street, the cycle path uses the same principle, but the cycle path is level with the curb, but as you walk along, it drops down about two inches. I think it’s where they thought people would be crossing.’
Alan Hale, a councillor for Keynsham South, said figures he had obtained through a freedom of information (FOI) request to the council showed that 59 people had been hurt.
Of these, 21 have sought damages from the council for their injuries, and although seven of these have been rejected the rest remain open and under investigation.
The council stated that no insurance claims have currently been settled and no other payments have been made to anyone.
After nine months of work, the new cycle lane was opened in March 2022, beginning the worrying cases of people falling in the high street and cyclists coming off their bikes.
Many have echoed Mr Dawson’s description of road markings as an ‘optical illusion’, as there are kerbs and painted white lines that look similar.
Council bosses stated that no insurance claims have currently been settled, and no other payments have been made to anyone.
Although the incident put a downer on his day, Mr Dawson said the ’embarrassment’ was worse than his injuries.
He said, ‘I’m 76 but still pretty active. So as soon as I realised what had happened, I got back up so it wasn’t the end of the world. It’s only grazes, I just cleaned it up myself.
‘I’m not intending to make any claim or anything like that. I feel if I did that, you’re only claiming against your own money because it comes from the council.
‘I think, in all honesty, the intention [of the cycle path] is good, and apparently, it’s to the government standards, but I think they’ve made a mistake. It will have to be rectified, but it’s getting them to admit they were wrong. We all make mistakes.’