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Eynsham Village News

Eynsham Pavements 11 Aug 2010 Chris Caudle reports on local footways / pavements in relation to elderly or disabled people, or scooter or wheelchair users

Having lived in Eynsham most of my life, I would walk around without much thought, unless I tripped on a raised paving slab. On my first outing with a disability scooter, I was shocked at the state of the paths. I don’t think any thought has gone into the impact on people in my position.

I hope that a working party can be arranged to discuss a strategy for change. I would also suggest that disabled people are involved in any future consultation, or before new paving projects. Disabled and elderly people should have a fundamental right to access shops or any other business, or for recreation.

Findings

In carrying out this survey, I found the same problems recurring time and again ...

DROPPED KERBS: It is a common practice to drop kerbs for cars to park in the driveways. However the practice of sloping the path penalises people who are elderly or disabled. Cars could easily mount the kerb if just the edge was lowered; meanwhile wheelchair users are at risk of tipping over.

BODGED REPAIRS: Contractors’ work is generally poor and is not checked by the council. If you have a lot of holes, why fill the large one and leave others? It only leaves the smaller holes to grow, which then requires another visit incurring further cost.

THOUGHTLESSNESS: The issues described above are bad enough. But householders are creating further problems, by:

  • letting plants and hedges protrude onto footpaths
  • blocking pathways on dustbin days
  • parking cars half on the path and half on the road.

Priorities

I am well aware of the national state of finances and its impact on our councils, but I feel this situation is so serious that funds should be diverted, or grants applied for, at least to repair the main routes. In many places it is smoother to ride a scooter / wheelchair on the road.

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