Glen incident sparks pathway safety fears
PUBLISHED: 14:15 23 February 2015 | UPDATED: 14:15 23 February 2015
A female mobility scooter-user on footpath eight narrowly avoided a drop on to rocks below.
Calls have been made for improved safety at The Glen in Honiton after an elderly woman escaped serious injury.
The Herald understands that the female mobility scooter-user lost control while turning around at the top of footpath eight in The Glen, narrowly avoiding a drop on to rocks below.
The footpath, which is notoriously steep, has a kissing gate at the top – meaning it’s inaccessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs.
David Nicholls, secretary of The Glen Conservation Group (Glennies), said that a lower bar on the side of the guardrail running along the path would have stopped the woman from falling under it.
The woman was only stopped from plunging into the stream and rocks at the bottom of the incline thanks to her quick-thinking carer.
Dog walker John Brady, of Balfour Close, in Honiton, who helped out afterwards, said he had got to the kissing gate when he spotted the scooter on its side and the woman sprawled out on the ground.
He said the woman was just inches from falling down the slope and into the stream.
“I asked if I could do anything to help and the carer said she had called an ambulance,” Mr Brady said.
“But she did not know where they were.”
Mr Brady had to direct paramedics to the stricken woman and after ensuring she was in safe hands, left her with them.
The 76-year-old added: “The incident could have been a lot worse.
“If she had gone down the ledge, she could have gone into the river.
“But if there was a middle rail there, she could have bounced off of it.”
A South West Ambulance Service spokesman confirmed that the woman was treated for a cut to the head and an arm injury on Monday, January 26, shortly after the incident.
She was then taken to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital for treatment to the arm injury.
Mr Nicholls said that the incident was the first of its kind that he had heard of.
He added that the Glennies would ‘fully support’ any safety improvements to the footpath and hand rail, which would improve safety to visitors.
“We would get behind anything the authorities would do to make it safer,” Mr Nicholls said.
“We are relieved there was no serious injury – we want people to come to The Glen.
“The path is very steep. Any improvement to stop it being so steep would be useful.”
Mr Nicholls said he thinks improvements should be made to the hand rails and that section of the footpath - but those who want an alternative route to footpath eight can take a shortcut through Millennium Green.
He added there are other spots along footpath eight where a second rail may be useful.
Despite attempts to contact Honiton Town Council, no one was available for comment at the time of going to press.
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