No compensation paid out on 40 injury claims from 'optical illusion' cycle lane

The council hasn't paid out any compensation for injuries on the cycle lane. (SWNS)
The council hasn't paid out any compensation for injuries on the cycle lane. (SWNS) (SWNS)

A council has so far refused to pay any compensation to victims who tripped on an 'optical illusion' cycle lane - despite 40 claims being submitted. The lane was branded 'the most dangerous in Britain' due to the high number of injuries - with locals blaming a 'trick of the eye' design. Photos show how it appears to be flat at a glance - but actually passes over an elevated pedestrian crossing.

Walkers on Keynsham High Street near Bristol have repeatedly missed and tripped on a 'hidden' curb - which they say looked like a flat line as it is painted white. Since it was installed by Bath and North East Somerset Council in March 2022, more than 100 people have been injured on it.

The council attempted to make the cycle lane more clean. (SWNS)
The council attempted to make the cycle lane more clean. (SWNS) (Tom Wren / SWNS)

A Freedom of Information Request submitted by the Local Democracy Reporting Service has revealed 40 people have sought compensation from the council for their injuries. To date no payments have been made with 30 claims having been dismissed while 10 remain ongoing.

The council has since painted the lane red, and changed a solid white line to a dotted line in the hope of stopping the confusion, falls and injuries.

A road safety audit in December warned: "Whilst the number of incidents has clearly reduced since opening, it remains an ongoing issue with a relatively consistent rate of incidents per month, rather than one which is reducing over time."

Injuries have included fractures, lost teeth, and significant bruising.

Watch: Infamous 'optical illusion' cycle lane which injured 100s 'fixed overnight'

Dozens of people have been injured. (SWNS)
Dozens of people have been injured. (SWNS) (SWNS)

The lane initially had to be re-painted red in August 2022 after 46 injuries were reported on the stretch of road in the first six months. Locals wanting it scrapped have previously recalled their experiences of coming to harm there.

One person said: "I fell into the road last year, cutting my knee, twisting my ankle and ripping my jeans. The council were not very helpful or even asked if I was ok. They did suggest that I use the crossing next time."

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Another added: "I tripped but manage to get my balance. Don’t know whether it was the kerb or cycle lane."

One said: "That’s just the ones that have been reported, it’s a daily occurrence pretty much. Have seen some pretty nasty falls having worked in one of the shops on the High street."

Another person said they had been pushing a wheelchair when they nearly fell. They said: "You just can’t judge the step especially if you are distracted a really poor design."

Bath and North East Somerset Council has been contacted for comment.

The cycle lane on Keynsham High Street. (SWNS)
The cycle lane on Keynsham High Street. (SWNS) (SWNS)

It's the responsibility of every council to ensure they maintain pavements, paths or other public walkways. When a path is cracked, poorly maintained or designed and a trip hazard is clear then you have the right to request compensation from the local authority for any injury that occurred.

The same is true at places of work, employers must ensure their workplaces are safe and conform with the legal standards.

The claim will be based on whether the location of the injury was unsafe and breached the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Any claim needs to be made within three years of the injury happening and keeping record of the injury through logging medical appointments and photographs will greatly help the claim.

You can make your claim based on loss earnings, cost of attending appointments, cost of treatment and any accessibility changes made as a result of the injury.