After seeing two residents falling over whilst trying to get onto the pavement, Jim Crow (the parish councillor and treasurer of the Oaktree residents) thinks that mobility scooter users from St Leonards are “taking their lives into their own hands” when they go out on their scooters.
Due to the height of the curbs, Oaktree Park residents are finding it almost impossible to get onto pavements next to the A31 when out and about on their mobility scooters.
County councillor Peter Richardson, has launched a project to get dropped kerbs properly installed onto footways next to the busy road.
However, despite acknowledging the problem, the Highways Agency has now said that work to remedy the dangerous situation has to be part of a four-year program.
Jim Crow, who is the treasurer of the Oaktree Residents’ Association and a parish councillor, said: “The county councillor has realised the gravity of the concern for the residents, and is now helping us take this fight forward.
“Many of our residents at Oaktree are of a senior age, and as they get older, some are having to give up their cars and buy mobility scooters to get around on instead.”
Jim explained that he has seen at least two of the residents on scooters toppling over after trying to get onto the steep pavemensts.
“It’s tying older people to their homes because they can’t get out to go anywhere, They are taking their life in their hands,” he said.
Mr Crow said there is only one dropped kerb, outside St Leonards Community Hospital, which was added hastily by the NHS after Jim registered his concerns with them.
“It is a 50 mile per hour road, but I defy anyone to say they’re going down there at that speed. It’s just far too fast, It’s a very dangerous situation,” he said.
Counselor Richardson said the work needs to acted on urgently, and is now asking for the assistance of Dorset County Council’s highways department.
He said: “I firmly believe all residents at Oaktree Park Homes must have this dropped kerb issue resolved quickly, as a matter of real emergency, before a tragic incident occurs from poor road and footway design that has existed for far too long. I am very concerned for their safety when faced with poor, uneven surfaces and consequential danger, as users travel on the footway against the traffic flow of the A31 to reach their destination. One just has to see the road users attempting their journeys to appreciate this.”
Hopefully the drop kerbs will be installed for the residents of Oaktree very soon!