Pavement condition in the UK shows no improvement as disabled residents “fear” to go out


A Buckinghamshire-based disability charity says it is ‘horrified’ at pavement condition outside a local supported living home.

A report in the Bucks Herald detailed how the footpaths that connect a supported living home in Aylesbury to local amenities are almost impassable.

It continued to reveal how the issues has meant that some residents now fear going out.

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This comes just days after a man in Scotland hit a pothole while on his mobility scooter.

AMP reported on the accident which hospitalised the man and left him in an intensive care unit.

The Bucks Herald report comes after concerned resident, Kirsten Read, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, and who is also registered blind, wrote in to the local paper.

She explained: “I am complaining about the big bumps on the path. I have back pain and it makes it worse when I have to go over the bumps in my wheelchair. Big bumps near the duck pond, nearly made my chair tip a bit and I could have fallen out! It makes me feel anxious and jumpy when there are bumps.”

After a trip out to see it for themselves, the local paper showed the photos to Buckinghamshire Disability Service (BuDS).

BuDS responded saying: “BuDS is horrified by the state of these pavements. As a disability charity with an access project, we keep an close eye on these issues and these pavements are some of the worst we have seen in an urban area. Everyone including disabled people are entitled to live an independent life and it’s wrong that the highways authority is putting this barrier in the way of multiple wheelchair-users wanting to live an ordinary life.

“The pavement clearly hasn’t been maintained and is unsafe for everyone, not just disabled people. BuDS calls on Bucks CC to remember its Public Sector Equality Duty, which requires it to actively anticipate the needs of disabled people and make reasonable adjustments for them. In this case, highways repairs are clearly urgently needed.”

In response to the findings on the pavement condition, Bucks County Council, provided this statement:

“Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB) appreciates that there is, in certain areas, a legacy of difficult access sites, particularly on some estate roads which have been there for over 60 years. Many improvement schemes are delivered through funding sources such as Members’ Funds or the Local Area Forum – soon to be changing to Community Boards through the new Buckinghamshire Council – to improve footways, including dropped kerb provisions.

“TfB is reviewing current funding in this area. The Local Area Technician is more than happy to discuss specific areas of concern, and would support improvements where funding is available, as long as a safe location is feasible.”

Concluding: “Where we install new schemes, we need to take into consideration the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), to improve accessibility for all. If your reader wishes to call our customer service centre leaving their contact details, we will ensure that someone gets in touch with them.”

The UK’s problem with having fully accessible roads and pavements seems to persist.

Read the full report on the Scottish mobility scooter accident here:

Tags : Accesspavementpothole
Alex Douglas

The author Alex Douglas

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