Lawyers acting for two cyclists injured in separate incidents at the same Reading roundabout have joined their clients in calling for urgent safety improvements after another person was injured there.
Experts at Boyes Turner say the latest incident at the Vastern Road roundabout in the town centre adds to existing concerns over safety at the busy interchange, which has seen a number of accidents in recent years and left several cyclists injured.
The lawyers’ call for action was joined by a local teenager who spent two nights in hospital after being knocked off his bike in September last year and continues to suffer from injuries, including a fracture to his back, five months later.
A second cyclist injured at the same spot has also added his voice to the calls for improved safety, just over a year after he too was knocked off his bike at the Vastern Road site and also needed hospital treatment after suffering three fractures to his back.
And it comes just days after a motorist suffered serious injuries and was also left needing hospital treatment after another incident at the roundabout, which has been highlighted as a safety concern several times by local campaigners who say as many as 19 cyclists have been injured there in the past few years.
Adam Adrian, 19, from Caversham, had already safely negotiated most of the roundabout in busy traffic as he tried to turn right over Reading Bridge but was knocked off his bike and onto the road after being hit by a car.
An ambulance rushed him to hospital where he needed two nights’ treatment and had his arm put in plaster before being allowed home to begin his recovery from the fracture to his spine and injuries to his wrist and knee.
Doctors have since given Adam the devastating news that his spinal fracture will never heal fully, leaving the teenager facing an uncertain future as he tries to move on from the incident.
The former Highdown Secondary School student had been pursuing an acting career, with a place secured on a course at Chichester University, but has been restricted in any roles he can take since the accident due to the continued pain he suffers when moving, while his wrist injuries have also restricted his role in local rock band Before The Breakdown.
Julian Wigmore was also injured at the Vastern Road roundabout, when an SUV vehicle pulled out in front of him, catapulting the 66-year-old, also from Caversham, onto the bonnet of the car. He too was taken to hospital, where he was told he had fractured three vertebrae.
His injuries have left the bid manager two inches shorter and, despite rehabilitation arranged by his legal team, he continues to suffer pain a year later and is still unable to ride his bike on the road due to anxiety. He was also unable to work for a short period after the incident, which cost him a freelance contract.
Both Adam and Julian are now being helped by experts at Thames-Valley based Boyes Turner. Serious injury specialist solicitor Laura Magson said the latest incident at Vastern Road showed things were not improving and that it was time that action was taken by the local council.
“Adam and Julian’s stories are just two examples of people being injured at this same spot and questions have to be asked as to how many more people will have to suffer injuries or worse before something is done,”
“Cyclists in particular are vulnerable and far too many have already been injured at this roundabout, which has been singled out for attention by safety campaigners including ourselves before.
“Adam and Julian face a further fight to recover from the injuries and regain the lives they had before. The worry Adam faces while waiting to see if his fractured spine will repair fully is something no-one should have to endure at any stage in their life, let alone at just 19, and Julian also still suffers from his injuries a year on, despite important rehabilitation work.”
“Their stories should serve as a catalyst for action to prevent this happening to anyone else. We now want to see the authorities carry out an urgent review and make sure no-one else suffers what our clients have suffered. Safety has to come first.”
“The accident itself was horrific and it still affects me now, but the biggest frustration is not being able to just get on with my life. My acting ambitions and my music have all been affected by something which wasn’t my fault.
“However, when you then find out that you’re not the only person who has been injured at this roundabout, it’s even more frustrating, especially when you see more accidents like the recent one. I don’t want to see anyone else go through what I have gone through.”
Julian added: “All I was doing was cycling home and the next minute, my life had been turned upside down. A year on, I’m still in pain and still can’t do the things I could do before.
“Enough is enough. There have to be changes at this roundabout to stop anyone else being injured. One accident is too many but there have been a series of incidents there. Someone else will be seriously injured if action isn’t taken immediately”
Local cycle campaigners have previously highlighted the Vastern Road roundabout as a serious cause for concern and demanded action from council officials, saying statistics show that 19 cyclists have been injured at the interchange in recent years.