With three young children, Karen and I have recent experience of regularly pushing prams and pushchairs. This experience has highlighted a number of areas where the condition and design of the pavements makes their use difficult or impossible. I have been pressing the County Council to address these issues for several years with many successes.
In particular I wanted to see a dropped kerb on the junction of West Street and Church Street. The height of the kerb here is exaggerated by the presence of a road drain making it difficult to get pushchairs and wheel chairs onto the pavement and impossible for mobility scooters. It is also very difficult for those with restricted mobility while on foot (like my mother-in-law who has fallen here three times – a big thanks to our local Marine for picking her up last time!). SUCCESS! Our lobbying persuaded the Parish Council to support and pay for dropped kerbs on West Street and on Mount Street and these have now been installed.
The stretch of pavement between the above junction and the Co-op has been in very poor condition. It has a pronounced slope towards the road and is cracking up at the edge, both problems likely to have been exacerbated by cars parking ‘one wheel on’. Other stretches have just worn out through use and poor repairs by utility companies. SUCCESS! Our lobbying has persuaded the County Council to repair the worst sections of the Church Street pavement! See photo below.
We have also been successful in getting the County Council to mark a footway on the road around the Lethbridge Arms, where the existing footway peters out forcing pedestrians into the roadway. A similar ‘footway’ has also been marked on the road surface between Pound Lane and Glanfield Close.
We now have a feasibility study on the provision of a new footway between Glanfield Close and Pound Lane, which would enable residents of Darby Way to walk to and from the village without being in the road. It will cost £30k though! So we’ll need to demonstrate strong support to make it happen.
Another improvement I would like to see is to widen the pavement next to ‘The Mount’ on Mount Street. Here, the footway is no more than 60cm wide, inadequate to accommodate all but the narrowest pushchairs. Every morning, I see parents having to push their children in the road on a fast stretch of road with limited visibility round the corner. The pavement only needs to be widened by 30cm or so in order to keep pedestrians on the pavement.
I also want to see a footway constructed between the Post Office and Kings Yard in Bishops Lydeard. Quite why this wasn’t required from the developers of Kings Yard is beyond me. We now have a lot of new children in the development who have to walk in the road in order to get to school. Not good enough, I say!
Please email me with any other areas that you think should be addressed and I’ll add them to the campaign.