Broken pavements leave Grantham neighbours scared to go out

Angry: Residents are angry about the state of the pavements outside their homes.
Angry: Residents are angry about the state of the pavements outside their homes.

Angry elderly residents on a Grantham street say years of neglect have turned their pavements into a safety hazard and left them feeling like prisoners in their own homes.

Pat Holmes, 67, says loose tarmac and cracked and uneven pavements in Canterbury Close are a safety risk to residents, particularly elderly people, and that nothing has been done to improve the situation in the 14 years that she has lived on the close.

She said: “I had a knee replacement six weeks ago and the hospital advised me to take a short walk every day, but I am too frightened to keep going out in case I fall. I actually feel safer walking on the road.

“I’m one of the youngest on the close and struggle on a daily basis, so I can’t imagine what it is like for the rest of the residents.”

Unfortunately, Pat’s fears are not unfounded. Her neighbour, Brenda Coy, 87, was getting into her car outside her home last September when she tripped on the pavement and cut her face open.

She said: “It was the first day of a frost and I tripped on one of the uneven pavement edges. My face was a mess. I’ve still got the marks now.”

Brenda’s husband, Terry, 85, was with her when she fell and it has left them both shaken.

He said: “We don’t push ourselves to go out now as the pavements outside our home are particularly bad. Even if I try to do a bit of gardening, the wheelbarrow goes off in one direction and tips over.”

Their neighbour, Eileen Yates, 93, said Brenda’s fall has left her feeling nervous every time she goes out. She said: “I take my walker everywhere as I am very wary when walking about for fear of falling.”

Chris Weston, 74, struggles to walk unaided after a hip replacement nine years ago. He said: “The pavements make it even more difficult and I always have to watch where I’m walking.”

Margaret Wilson, 90, is in a wheelchair. She said: “I always have to be with someone when I go outside. The pavements make the wheelchair shake about and it is difficult for the person pushing me.”

Pat visits Margaret every morning to make her a cup of tea but admits that she struggles to walk the short distance, adding: “I end up walking right next to the wire fencing to avoid the majority of the worse areas. It is such a shame as aside from the pavements, it is such a nice area to live in.

“The majority of us have been here for many years and we all look out for each other. We often all meet up at the community centre for a game of bingo or strawberry tea.”

Despite residents’ concerns, pleas to Lincolnshire County Council have largely gone unheard.

Dave Wilson has lived on the close for five years and has reported neighbours’ complaints to the highways department. He said: “Nothing has been done since I let them know. I am a lot younger than many of the residents, so I try to support them as best I can.

“I think it’s disgusting.”

A spokesman for highways said a visit will be arranged in the near future, adding: “We’re always grateful to people who report potential issues out on the highways.

“We’ll be arranging a visit to Canterbury Close in the next few weeks to
investigate.

“Once we’ve had a chance to inspect the pavements in the area, we’ll be able to comment further on whether repairs or improvements are necessary.”

To report a highways issue visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/faultreporting or call 01522 782070.