Student’s compensation nightmare after slip near Lancaster bridge

Millennium Bridge, Lancaster.
Millennium Bridge, Lancaster.

A woman who suffered broken bones after slipping on a Lancaster bridge has found herself caught up in a legal wrangle over compensation.

The 24-year-old fractured her arm and dislocated her shoulder when she fell as she walked onto a cycle path from Millennium Bridge.

Green County Councillor Gina Dowding has called for urgent action to prevent accidents to cyclists using the Millennium bridge.

Green County Councillor Gina Dowding has called for urgent action to prevent accidents to cyclists using the Millennium bridge.

The PHD student, who does not wish to be named, was heading towards Sainsbury’s at 8.30am when she slipped on ice twice, fracturing a bone near her elbow.

“I am only 24, if that happened to an 80-year-old, I dread to think, there was no one about at all, I had to get myself up and that is when I fell again.

“There was no grit on the cycle path, I think a bit of the bridge was gritted.”

The student is caught between a dispute over ownership between Lancaster City Council and Lancashire County Council.

The Lancaster University student put a claim for compensation into the county council shortly after the accident in November – but was told the path and bridge is not the responsibility of the county council.

After writing to the city council she said she was then told by insurers that it didn’t belong to the city either.

“I have been back and forth trying that many times .

“I’m not doing it for lots of money, I don’t want this to happen to anyone else.

“I don’t know what to do now, county council told me to contact the Land Registry to see who the land belongs to but that costs money and takes weeks to do, it is all a nightmare.”

County councillor Gina Dowding is campaigning for action to be taken on Millennium Bridge to help improve cyclists and pedestrian safety.

The Green councillor wants permanent warning signs and better surfaces to be laid out for cyclists when approaching the bridge from the south side via the Quay.

Coun Dowding has also faced confusion over ownership issues.

“It is not really clear who owns that bit of path or who is responsible.

“If it is causing injuries then we should be doing something about it as this will reduce people’s agony but also the cost on the health service.

“We need to invest in cycling, they reduce congestion, it is not an expensive thing to do really compared to the money that is spent on many roads.”

Coun Brendan Hughes, responsible for environmental services, said: “We meet regularly with the county council and this is one of those issues where by working together we would hope to come up with some potential solutions.” Issues relating to roles and responsibilities will be clarified at the next meeting with the county council.