PLEAS: Dropped kerb leaves disabled householders stranded
Doris Chapman, 73, of Hardwick, faces problems with a lack of dropped kerbs near her bungalow
Fears disabled householders are being left stranded due to a lack of dropped kerbs on Stockton estates have sparked pleas for action.
Cllr Norma Stephenson asked for a closer look at the problem at a council meeting this week – with worries some people were being sent around in circles.
The member for Hardwick and Salters Lane said: “We have people who are basically locked in their houses because we do assessments on them and they stop at the gate.
“They’re going around in circles some of them, and they can’t get anywhere.
“New properties and new developments have to include them – but it’s the older properties where there is a massive shortage of dropped kerbs.
“People have to go a long way in the wrong direction to get across the road and then come back on themselves.
“I think we need a review of it.”
Former taxi driver Michael King, 69, has used a mobility scooter to get about outside his home off Elton Close for the past four or five years.
But a lack of dropped kerbs means a quick trip often takes much longer than it needs to – and his journeys aren’t helped by motorists parking across access ramps or mounting the kerb.
Mr King said: “People park up on the path and you have to start asking them to move their cars.
“But there’s nowhere really to re-route.”
Former machinist Doris Chapman, 73, said the lack of dropped kerbs was “appalling”.
One of her sons has even installed a makeshift ramp at the close to help her get off the pavement.
The great grandmother of seven told the Local Democracy Reporting Service of her frustration with the lack of action.
Ms Chapman added: “If I go out to go to Hardwick, Roseworth, or Stockton, I have to go all the way around.
“None of my sons have got cars and I’m totally dependent on my scooter but in a lot of the places you go, it’s unbelievable how many people park up in front of them.”
Ms Chapman also had bruises on her legs from where she’d fallen from her scooter recently.
Councillors are examining how inclusive the borough is for disabled people at the moment.
Plastic dropped kerbs have been used on pavements in Northallerton to improve access at lower cost.
Cllr Stephenson told this week’s executive scrutiny panel that now would be the “perfect time” to have a total review of dropped kerbs across Stockton.
She added: “They don’t have to be these bobbly things which hurt your feet if you’ve got sand shoes on.
“They don’t – just a little slope for them.
“One of our own councillors had to literally get out of her motor scooter a week or so ago and lift it onto the path because somebody decided they wanted to park outside their house.
“It’s education out there but it’s also a severe shortage of dropped kerbs.”
Words: Alex Metcalfe, Local Democracy Reporter
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