A WOMAN has sued Halfords after her bike jammed, causing her to veer into a car 24 hours after it was checked by a mechanic in York.

Kath Percival, 49, was cycling from York to her home in Preston when the faulty gear mechanism jammed and she was thrown from her bike, which she said left her in pain for four months.

Halfords in Preston had given the £1,200 bike a full service days before Mrs Percival set off to York, but when she noticed problems on the journey she took it to the Foss Islands branch, which worked on the bike and again gave it the all-clear.

The chain has accepted liability for the incident and has apologised to Mrs Percival.

Mrs Percival said: “I was left very shaken, especially as the accident took place near a busy roundabout. I love long-distance cycling and tend to clock up around 10,000 miles a year and, although I’ve always been a careful cyclist, my confidence has really taken a knock since the accident. While cycling to York I noticed several problems with the gear mechanism so I visited the York branch of Halfords on Foss Islands Road and asked them to take a second look. The mechanic made some adjustments and assured me that my bike was now fine.”

An independent investigation found there were a number of flaws with the cycle, including some incorrect adjustments and worn parts, which should have been spotted by a mechanic.

Kath’s solicitor, Paul Macbeth, of Russell Jones & Walker said: “Kath’s an experienced cyclist so, despite just having her bike serviced, she recognised there was something wrong with it and rightly asked a professional to take a look at it. Remarkably, Halfords still failed to spot the problem and it’s only down to good fortune that her accident wasn’t a lot worse.”

A financial claim for the incident is under negotiation, a spokesman for the solicitors said.

A spokesman for Halfords said: “Our sincere apologies to Mrs Percival. On this occasion we let her down. We have taken steps to learn from this isolated incident and wish Mrs Percival well.”