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Wildman 05-30-2012 01:21 AM

Biker ... died after gate put across Taff Trail
A motorcyclist died after colliding with a makeshift gate on the Taff Trail, an inquest has heard. Jamie Roberts, 28, of Merthyr Tydfil, hit a metal bar put up by farmer Gwyn Parry, the court heard. Mr Parry told Aberdare coroner's court he had not considered the safety of motorcyclists as they should not have been on the trail. The coroner, who said it was not safe for the bar to be there, recorded a verdict of death by misadventure.

The court heard Mr Roberts and two other friends on motorbikes were riding on the Taff Trail at Pontsticill, Merthyr Tydfil, in July 2010 when the incident happened. The trail is a multi-purpose route between the Cardiff and Brecon, Powys, used by walkers and cyclists, with parts of it also suitable for horseriders. The inquest heard that one motorcyclist braked but Mr Roberts braked later and collided with the makeshift gate. He suffered severe head injuries and died later at University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.

Mr Parry told the inquest he had constructed the makeshift metal bar gate in order to keep his stock in after a previous gate had vanished. The court heard that Mr Parry had previously put wire netting between the gate posts but that had been removed after council officials considered it a hazard. The council had ordered a new five-bar gate but had not fitted it because of a lack of staff, the court heard.

The coroner heard that the metal bar gate was spotted by the trail warden on 1 July - 10 days before Mr Roberts's accident. The warden called his supervisor who told him that it must be part of ongoing maintenance and it was not removed, the court heard. The warden told the inquest that it looked safe to him and he assumed it was to stop animals on the trail. He said that it did not pose any risk to him and he did not consider it to be of any risk to users of the trail.

The council's customer services director Gary Thomas told the inquest that visual risk assessments had taken place relating to ordinary users of the trail. These were deemed to be walkers, cyclists and people on horses at the time - because motorcyclists should not have been on the trail. He said that now when assessing risk, staff had to consider motorcyclists.

The police officer who investigated the incident, PC Nick Cooper, said the bar across the trail would have been very hard to see. He said there was nothing to aid its visibility. There were no warning signs and it was a risk in daylight to those using the Taff Trail, particularly those travelling at speed.

Recording her verdict, coroner Louise Hunt said motorcycles should not have been on the Taff Trail, but that the bar did not stand out and that other users of the trail could also be at risk because of its presence at the time. She said that if it had been assessed as a risk on 1 July, it could have been removed before Mr Roberts got there on his motorcycle. "The visibility of the bar was difficult for any user of the Taff trail, and it wasn't really safe for it to be there," she said.

RIP Jamie.

Timpo 05-30-2012 03:34 AM

Yes, a sad tale!

It sickened me when the use of the phase 'the biker should not of been on the trail' is mentioned, as there are user groups that can travel as fast as motorcyclists, ie, horse folk and mountain bikers, and there are also emergency services that use motorcycles 'off-road'....... so the bar was a hazard to them too, not just the off-road motorcycle rider.


Wolfgang55 05-30-2012 06:37 AM

Interesting, bet the Coroner was not a rider nor her SO.

Tod. 06-01-2012 02:39 PM

I`m from Merthyr Tydfil originally, and I didn`t know the biker. But I do know the farmer. I can understand he was trying to prevent his livestock from wandering off, but Gwyn was a TWAT for putting up that bar without any signs and a young lad has paid for it with his life. I hope that this will haunt Gwyn Parry for the rest of his days. My older brother rides many parts of the Taff trail an a regular basis on a mountain bike and I know what sort of speeds him and his mates get up to. As for the council official who assessed the risk, He`s just like the rest of the council officials in Merthyr, a shower of shit who don`t have a clue as to risk assessment. Can you imagine some poor kid galloping a horse into it? Same result as Poor Jamie Roberts. This trail is used by hundreds if not thousands of people on a weekly basis. G.Parry was a TWAT, and should have paid the price for his bloody minded carelessness and so too, the poxy shower of shit officials.

Pampera 06-03-2012 03:43 PM

On the other hand...

The route is NOT legal for motorcyclists, and mountainbikers and horse riders should expect to take reasonable care, always being able to stop in the distance they can see etc as the route will be being used by families with children and dogs etc.

The other motorcyclists were able to see the gate and stop in time.

To quote the great Kevin Schwantz when another rider moaned about a bale that had been knocked onto the track:

"Yes, but it was also possible to miss the bale"

NKL 06-04-2012 01:30 PM

There is a big difference between looking out for pedestrians and an iron bar across the trail.

jetjackson 07-12-2012 11:35 AM

Second the point that any mountain biker or horse rider could easily suffer fatal head injuries. Horses and mountain bikes go just as fast as what a lot of motorbikes do on similar trails. Only the mountain bikers and horse riders wear a lot less head protection.

Britsabroad 07-16-2012 06:15 PM


1/Gwyn was a TWAT!
2/. I hope that this will haunt Gwyn Parry for the rest of his days

1/ Not quite a strong enough word in my opinion!

2/ I hope Gwyn Parry dies a slow & horrible death!

PS, Welsh farmers do not have consciences!

dashmoto 07-17-2012 08:23 AM

Those of you who, after one person has died, wish that someone else 'dies a slow and horrible death' or 'is haunted for the rest of their lives' should really go away and have a quiet word with yourselves.

Peanuts 07-28-2012 12:28 PM

It is not as if the farmer strung a wire at the motorcyclist's neck height.

I think we have to assume his intent was not to harm others, but to hinder illegal use.

But he should have made the gate easier to see.

Pampera 08-01-2012 03:01 PM

Read the original report.

The purpose of the gate was to restrict stock: quite lawful

The farmer used wire netting, the council said it was dangerous and made him take it down.

The council promised a new five-bar gate, but didn't get around to hanging it.

So the farmer erected a temporary gate...and someone rode into it.

Hardly the farmer's fault.

alanx 04-30-2013 08:57 AM

I'm very perturbed to see a named individual being publicly bad-mouthed for something that was no fault of his own - "I hope that this will haunt [the farmer] for the rest of his days." - yes I'm sure it already will, without you rubbing it in. As Pampera points out in his/her comment, the facts do not point to the farmer having done anything wrong.

The argument about pedal cyclists riding at high speed is a weak one as well. Cyclists should be using off-road tracks in a way which gives proper regard to other people's safety (and on bridleways they have a legal obligation to give way to pedestrians and horse riders, see Countryside Act 1968, section 30), and if they do this then they shouldn't have a problem.

On the facts as reported, I think the coroner was 100% right to record this as misadventure, as to pin the blame on the farmer would have implied a duty of care to people doing all sorts of illegal things (just like if a joyrider stole your bike and you were then held responsible if they crashed). It's not reasonable to expect people to have to make places safe for activities that aren't allowed to happen there. There was clearly no intent to harm.

Wildman 05-01-2013 10:31 AM

Perturbed enough to bump an old, dead thread.

Well done you.

Timpo 05-01-2013 12:17 PM


Originally Posted by Wildman (Post 21309128)
Perturbed enough to bump an old, dead thread.

And a 1st post in advrider....... mint! :huh

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