CAMPAIGNERS are calling for action over a stretch of road in York amid claims that eight cyclists have suffered broken wrists in “inexplicable” falls.

York Cycle Campaign is calling for a safety investigation after the spate of accidents on the stretch of road running through Piccadilly, Fishergate and Skeldergate.

City of York Council yesterday confirmed it was “looking into the road surface in the gyratory system area”.

Jim McGurn, 65, chief executive of Get Cycling, a community interest company, fell off his bike last year, and said he had since spoken to eight other cyclists who had suffered broken wrists on the stretch of road.

He said: “I was turning into Piccadilly from the inner ring road, right in front of Wetherspoons, with temperature around 8C so there was no ice yet, yet down I came.

“Limping into work the next day I told my colleagues what had happened, and two of our mechanics said that stretch of asphalt was where they had also come off a few months back.”

Both mechanics suffered broken wrists, he said.

He added: “I have been contacted by other cyclists who have come off their cycles inexplicably on a stretch of inner ring road at Piccadilly, Fishergate and the Castle roundabout.

“I have counted so far eight broken wrists, plus other injuries, and a lady who needed 13 stitches in her chin. I’m told there are further reports on Facebook, and there will be cyclists who have come off but never reported to any public forum.

“I would not be surprised if there have been over a hundred significant injuries over the last year, with serious effects on people’s personal and working lives.

“There’s something about the surface on that part of the ring road which is not right.

“There needs urgent investigation before we have a fatality.”

Karen Vogelsang, a member of York Cycling Campaign, needed 16 stitches on January 11 after she slipped off her bike in Piccadilly, again near the Wetherspoons pub.

She had been attempting to help a Press reporter who had also fallen off his bike moments before, breaking his wrist.

She said: “I saw the cyclist’s bike go from underneath him and I thought I would go to help him but as I came round the corner my bike also slipped and I fell and injured my face.

“A week later the hospital informed me that I had broken a bone in my hand.

“I wasn’t going round the corner with any particular speed and it was a relatively warm day, about 7C, yet the surface was incredibly slippy.”

Chris Ironton, 30, of Huntington, fell off his bike next to Fishergate School, last August.

He said: “I was cycling round the bend next to Fishergate school. It was bone dry but my bike just gave way and I fell off and snapped my thumb. I don’t ride that way anymore.”

Tony Tew, of Carr Lane, Acomb said that he also fell off last August near Mecca Bingo.

He said: “I am a lifelong, highly experienced cyclist and I do not take risks. The road was clean and dry and I was riding at what normally would be considered a safe speed and I wasn’t braking at the time, so I was astonished when my front wheel slid from under me two thirds of the way round the corner. Thankfully, the car I fell in front of managed to stop in time, but the fall hurt and the scars have lasted many months.”

In a statement York Cycle Campaign said: “These incidents highlight the increased vulnerability of cyclists, compared to other road users, when road surfaces are poorly maintained. We would like to see City of York Council monitoring all cyclist accident black-spots across York as a matter of course, and to carry out and act upon regular safety audits.”

Bill Manby, head of highways and fleet at City of York Council, said: “We are sorry to hear that some cyclists have been suffering falls and we apologise for the distress and discomfort caused.

“We are looking into the road surface in the gyratory system area and, depending on our findings, will take appropriate action.”

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