Bloodied pensioner becomes 60th person injured by 'optical illusion' cycle lane
Watch: 60 people injured in a year thanks to 'optical illusion' cycle lane
A pensioner was left bloodied and bruised after becoming the latest casualty of an "optical illusion" cycle lane - which caused him to fall over twice in one morning.
Dave Dawson, 76, was visiting the high street in Keynsham, Somerset, on Thursday when he sustained injuries to his hands and knees as he stepped off the curb's edge.
It was revealed 59 people had previously been injured on the street since the cycle lane was installed last year. Dawson, who is retired, spoke about being the lane's latest victim.
“I was walking along the pavement, and it’s sort of like an optical illusion," he said. "It looks as 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.
"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."
He added: "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 [and] as you walk along, it drops down about two inches. I think it’s where they thought people would be crossing."
After nine months of work, the new cycle lane was opened in March last year, beginning the odd phenomenon of dozens of people hitting the deck. Many people have echoed Dawson's description of the road markings as an “optical illusion”, as there are kerbs and painted white lines that look similar.
Since its introduction, 21 people have pursued personal injury compensation claims against the local council in relation to the road. Seven of these have been rejected, but the rest remain open and under investigation. Council bosses stated no insurance claims have currently been settled, and that no other payments have been made to anyone.
Although the incident put a downer on his day, Dawson said the “embarrassment” was worse than his injuries.
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"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."