Tandem challenge 25 years on - cyclist throws gauntlet down to Wakefield Council to take a ride across city’s pot holes

In 1987, Brian Law challenged the council to have someone ride on the back of his tandem to see how bad the roads were. The council's highways chief took up the challenge and said he learned much about problems bikers face. Twenty-five years on, Mr Law still has a tandem and says the roads are no better.
In 1987, Brian Law challenged the council to have someone ride on the back of his tandem to see how bad the roads were. The council's highways chief took up the challenge and said he learned much about problems bikers face. Twenty-five years on, Mr Law still has a tandem and says the roads are no better.

A cyclist fed up with bumpy rides and potholes has a message for the council - “on yer bikes.”

Brian Law wants a council boss to ride on the back of his tandem to find out how bad potholes in the district’s roads are.

He first threw down the gauntlet in 1987, when the council’s highways chief took up the challenge.

Twenty five years on, Mr Law still has a tandem and says the roads are just as bad.

Mr Law, of Highfield Drive, Alverthorpe, said: “Everybody is talking about the state of the roads.

“It really is quite bad and you can’t go for more than 100 yards or so down the road without hitting a pothole.

“They are a danger and some of them are really severe.

“I have still got a tandem and I thought I would revive the challenge and see if they wanted to take it up this time round.”

In December 1987, Coun Mike Chandler accepted Mr Law’s challenge of a ride on his tandem.

The Express reported that despite the cold weather, Coun Chandler enjoyed the trip and found it extremely useful.

Coun Chandler said at the time: “I have learned a lot today about bike riders’ problems.”

Coun Chandler said poor road surfaces in 1987 were the result of roadworks by gas and electricity companies and sunken manhole covers in the road were also a danger to cyclists.

Mr Law, 69, said Batley Road, near his house, was still particularly bad for potholes.

He added: “There is one in particular that is really deep. I could put a dozen eggs in it.

“Nobody seems to be doing much about it.

“I don’t think they appreciate what a danger they are, even as a driver.”

Mr Law said he often found pieces of coiled spring which had fallen from cars when their suspensions were damaged by potholes.

He added: “I come across them often.”

Graham West, Wakefield Council’s service manager for highways, said: “Batley Road is included in our highways maintenance pro gramme for this coming year.

“This will involve patching of the existing carriageway and then next year the full length of the road will be resurfaced.

“This road, like all roads across the district, has been inspected every year to ensure it is of a safe condition for both motorists and pedestrians.

“I would be more than happy to speak to Mr Law to discuss any further concerns he may have.”