Action call over Axminster ‘danger’ pavements

09:00 17 January 2016

A raised paving slab in Axminster

A raised paving slab in Axminster

Archant

Latest fall victim needs emergency dental treatment

Axminster’s uneven pavements claimed another victim last week – prompting renewed calls to make them safe.

Sheena Carr, 62, stumbled and fell on a raised slab in Victoria Place and had to seek emergency dental treatment.

She is the latest in a long line of pedestrians to have fallen and been injured in the town centre.

Campaigners fear one day someone may stumble into the road and be seriously hurt or killed by a passing vehicle.

Ms Carr was left bruised and shocked after she went down on a notoriously wobbly section between NatWest Bank and Martin’s Newsagents.

She said: “I fell headlong to the floor, hurting my right knee, banging my face on the ground and breaking my spectacles, which were in my hand.

“My face and front teeth were numb and I feared that I had broken my teeth inside my gums.

“I attended an emergency appointment at the Axminster Dental Practice, who confirmed, after an X-ray, that fortunately my teeth were not broken and replaced a filling which had been knocked out during the fall.

“My spectacles did not fare so well and I will have to replace them – an expensive item as they are occupational lenses.”

Now she has written to Devon County Council demanding compensation and calling for urgent action to make the town’s pavements safe.

She tells them: “I cannot stress enough the importance of repairing these faulty slabs, even replacing them with tarmac as you have done outside the post office. There will be a very serious accident unless something is done about them. The pavement is very narrow there (outside Martins) and cars and lorries are extremely close to the kerb. Last summer an elderly lady fell there and fell into the road. Something must be done... I understand resources are tight but public safety is non-negotiable.

“I have heard that there is a standard height of fault before a pavement is considered for replacement, but I am afraid this is nonsense. There is a large elderly population here and any unexpected difference in levels is a danger for them.”

Axminster county councillor Andrew Moulding this week called on people to report all falls so they can be logged. He also said the authority had now agreed to take a ‘flexible’ approach to its previous ruling that only slabs raised by 20mm or more would be repaired.

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