Two disabled women have described the horror of being “shaken around like a cocktail” and the daily dangers of trying to negotiate the streets of Truro on mobility scooters.
Hester Hitchen, who has been battling a long-term condition for the last decade, told Cornwall Live that she is so tired of the bumpy rides that she would like to see the cobbled streets of Truro “Tarmacked” over. She said some of the worst parts of the city are behind Truro Cathedral, New Bridge Street, Old Bridge Street and a section of Pydar Street – an area where some of her favourite shops are located.
Mrs Hitchen said the cobbled streets and the lack of drop curbs and uneven pavements make a trip into the city unpleasant. She said: “I really enjoy going into Truro and do it every day but it is uncomfortable. You are shaken around like a cocktail,” she said.
Barbara Barker described the daily grind of trying to travel along the narrow pavements from her home, describing one of the most difficult areas as from the HTP Building and past the West Briton offices. She said after finding her way through an “assortment of curves, cobbles and narrow pavements” she hits the worst point –outside the BBC Radio Cornwall offices.
The two women are supporting former Truro mayor and councillor Loic Rich who has started a petition calling on Cornwall Council’s Highways department to make improvements and repairs to the “walkways and thoroughfares” of the city. He said they want the council department to “help prevent injuries and enable reasonable equal access.”
Cllr Rich said: “I think some cost effective design changes, such as repointing some of the granite paving stones so they back to the level they were originally intended to be, dropping the kerbs to a reasonable level so people in wheel chairs can actually get to the pavement, and a few other improvements could make a big difference. We are all proud of the cobbles and the historic features of our city, but that doesn’t mean with some skillful engineering from the council we can make things better whilst preserving our heritage.”