A CYCLIST who was injured in a crash when a manhole was left uncovered said he was lucky not to have been killed.

Ashley Cook, of Cornlands Road, York, was cycling in Gale Lane, close to his home in Acomb when he was thrown from his bike.

Ashley said: "I was in my own little world to be honest, but the next thing I knew I was on my back in the middle of the road.

"I went over the handlebars, cut my hands and legs, and my shin where the pedal flung round but luckily my face wasn't injured."

While he did not consider his injuries to be too serious at first, Ashley started suffering back pain throughout the next day and sought professional help - eventually being given pain relief and diazepam by doctors.

He said: "I couldn't move, it was absolute agony.

"I've never had a problem with my back before this happened. I had a bit of a niggle in my back the night it happened, but overnight and all day the next day it got worse and worse, so I phone the NHS helpline and they said I had to go to A&E straight away. I was there for four hours."

Ashley reported the uncovered drain to Yorkshire Water on Sunday, who he said told him the cover would be replaced as soon as possible. However when he returned to the same spot a day after the incident, the hole was still uncovered.

He said: "I'm a 30-year-old lad in my prime, just dusted myself off with a bit of an injury but what if it had been a 70 or 80-year-old?

"I was lucky that there wasn't a car behind me. That would have been the end of me I would have been a goner. It's a hole about 15" by 10", maybe. A young toddler could fall down that, my girlfriend has a two-year-old lad and he could've gone right into it."

A spokeswoman for Yorkshire Water said: "We received a call from a customer on Sunday reporting a problem with one of our grates in Gale Lane. Following the notification of the problem, one of our service partners was sent to Gale Lane and repairs were completed on Tuesday."