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National Grid quizzed over teen in hospital
THE National Grid could face action over roadworks which threw a teenager from her bike, leaving her fighting for her life in hospital.
Essex County Council is considering taking action against the company and its contractors after a 3ins-deep pothole in roadworks in Southend Road, Rochford, threw the 18-year-old into the path of a car.
The teen, from Rochford, is now in a serious but stable condition in the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel.
National Grid resurfaced the area, which is a couple of hundred yards north of the Anne Boleyn pub, after a request from the county council on Tuesday.
The authority is also facing questions as cyclist Dan Makin and Rochford district councillor Jill Lucas-Gill both reported the problem a week ago.
Officers have admitted only scheduling the pothole for inspection, rather than repair, within 28 days, despite Mr Makin reporting he broke his shoulder and collarbone after hitting the same fault.
Mr Makin, 40, from Ashingdon, who was in hospital for a week after hitting the pothole, said: “I can’t believe the 28-day response – it’s simply mental.
“They had information at their disposal which confirmed I was a cyclist who sustained injury which left me hospitalised for a week as a result of a road fault.
“Why would you wait for 28 days to investigate that?”
The relaxed response comes when County Hall is flush with cash to deal with potholes.
Thanks to a £4.4million allocation from the Government recently, the council now has £17.5million to improve the road network across the county.
A county council spokesman said: “The council will continue to investigate and, if appropriate, will be taking the matter up with National Grid and its contractors.”
A National Grid spokesman said: “Our thoughts are with the injured cyclist – we wish her a prompt and full recovery.
“Safety is our priority and we do all we can to ensure our engineering and reinstatement work is delivered to the highest standards.
“National Grid had not previously been contacted about any problems with its work in the area and it’s not yet been confirmed who was responsible for the previous resurfacing.
“However, when Essex County Council highways authority sought some assistance after the incident, we agreed to help out and arranged for the section of road to be resurfaced.
“National Grid will assist with the investigation into the incident and we’re looking into work we’ve have done in the area.”
Police are investigating the incident, which happened at about 1.20pm on Monday when a silver Renault Clio hit the cyclist.
Anyone with information can call police on 101.