A firefighter who was thrown off his bike at high speed after becoming entangled in a British Telecom cable has slammed the company for not making it safe.
Gareth Lockwood was cycling from his Birdsedge home to work at Huddersfield Fire Station on Christmas Day 2011, when he suffered a freak accident on Lane Head Road at Shepley.
He explained: “I was going down the hill pretty fast, about 30mph, when all of a sudden something wrapped around my handlebars, got tighter and tighter and then threw me off.
“I went sliding down the road and just missed getting run over by a car.”
The accident had been caused by a BT cable which was hanging down into the road.
With his bike and clothing trashed, he arranged for a lift to work but was instantly sent to hospital by his commander.
The crash forced him have to have several weeks off work and he was faced with repairing his bike and buying new equipment.
And the nasty smash came back to haunt him over a year later as grit that had become embedded in his arm had to be surgically removed at Bradford Royal Infirmary, requiring two more weeks off work.
Gareth, 35, who last year did an epic charity bike ride and run challenge for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Kirkwood and Forget Me Not hospices, raising more than £6,400 in the process, estimates the whole incident has cost him £2,000 in lost earning and repairs.
He tried to make a claim against BT but the firm said it had maintenance records for the area, forcing him to drop his case.
But two-and-a-half years on from his painful fall, Gareth was shocked to see the cable still there hanging dangerously in the road.
“Somebody else is going to get hurt,” he said.
“I think BT have just taped it up but it’s come loose again and is hanging in the road.
“I’ve tied it off myself this time, but it’s time BT did something about it.
“The fact this has happened again shows they’re not maintaining it.”
A spokeswoman for BT said they had visited the site and made it safe.