10th Dec, 2016

County council criticised for district mum's death

Stratford Editorial 16th Jan, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

FRIENDS of district mum Kate Vanloo have hit out at Warwickshire County Council over speculation an unrepaired pothole could have led to her death.

The 52 year-old was hit by a passing car while out cycling with a friend on Holt Road just outside Napton on Sunday January 3. The keen triathlete, who lived in the village, reportedly rode over a pothole causing her to veer into the path of the oncoming car.

It has been reported the road was supposed to have been resurfaced before Christmas but repair work was postponed until February following a request from a nearby farm selling Christmas trees from its premises.

A friend of Kate’s told a national newspaper: “I’m told she’d hit a pothole which was full of water and threw her off. The other cyclist went around it – I’m assuming she was in front and Kate maybe didn’t see it in time.

And a neighbour of Kate was convinced that had the pothole been repaired the mum of three would still be alive.

She said: “If the pothole wasn’t there, she wouldn’t have fallen. Or she could have hit the pothole and survived with a few grazes if it wasn’t for the passing car.”

Phil Scott from Rugby Triathlon Club, where Kate was an active member, said action was needed to tackle the problem of potholes.

He said: “Potholes are a major problem all over the country. Even though we are in a time of austerity, they need to be tackled.

“I don’t think that many motorists realise that if a cyclist moves out into the road they are not being difficult. They may well be trying to avoid a pothole.”

The pothole on Holt Road was filled in within 48 hours of Kate’s death.

The county council refused to comment on the road resurfacing but said it was  “profoundly saddened” by Kate’s death.

Paying tribute this week, Kate’s family described her as “wonderful mother, sister and daughter”.

They said: “While we are all trying to come to terms with the loss of such a wonderful mother, sister, daughter and friend we are mindful that Kate died doing something that she truly loved and was her passion.”