Abingdon pavements 'in a shocking state’

Abingdon town councillor Penny McDougall with uneven slabs

Michael Barnes who was injured when he tripped on damaged blocks

Eva and John Race who walk in the road rather than tackle the uneven pavement

First published in News Herald Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Abingdon and Wantage, South Oxford and Kennington. Call me on 01865 425431

ABINGDON residents are calling for urgent repairs to a dilapidated street after an elderly man was badly injured in a fall. A public meeting will take place tonight to discuss the hazardous state of Thames Street after Michael Barnes, 74, tripped on a loose paving slab.

He suffered two broken ribs, a sprained wrist and injured his hand.

Residents, who have previously raised the issue with local councillors, say the entire pavement is in a dangerous state.

Mr Barnes, who lives on a boat moored in the town, said: “I cut my toe, grazed my knees, cracked a couple of ribs, and broke my best glasses.”

The accident happened outside the house of John Race, 78, who told Abingdon Town Council that a slab became dislodged when a large vehicle knocked into a wooden post. He said: “If you compare our street with the middle of town it is in an absolutely terrible state.

“We have a lot of foreign visitors strolling along this part of town, and they must be horrified with that.

“We’re not asking for the Taj Mahal, we just want it to be put into decent order.”

Dr Race’s wife Eva, who is also 78, said rather than risk the pavement she walks in the middle of the road.

The residents would like the pavement to be fixed, and also want to see the railings and benches treated, but say they have been unable to find out which councils are responsible for which features.

The councillor for the Abbey and Barton ward, Peter Jones, is also a district and county councillor, but he suffered a stroke in December and is taking an extended break from his work.

Town councillor Penny McDougall, said that Mr Jones would have been the ideal person to head up the project because of his experience.

She said: “This is a historic road with some beautiful buildings, it is a place that tourists come and visit, and yet they risk breaking their neck on the paving stones.

“There has been too much passing the buck, rather than pulling together, and it is very difficult to get anything to happen.”

A spokesman for the Vale council said that the entire street is the responsibility of the county council, except for a small strip opposite the Broad Face pub, which they have sent a contractor to investigate for possible repair work. Oxfordshire County Council refused to comment on the situation but said it was investigating ownership.

The council's bill for repairing kerbs, pavements and public walkways rose to £2.3m in 2011, up from £1.5m in 2007.

The public meeting takes place tonight at 7pm. lIs your pavement in desparate need of repair? Call our reporter Pete Hughes on 01865 425431

Comments (2)

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7:28am Thu 13 Sep 12

Lord Palmerstone says...

"A spokesman for the Vale council said that the entire street is the responsibility of the county council, except for a small strip opposite the Broad Face pub, which they have sent a contractor to investigate for possible repair work. Oxfordshire County Council refused to comment on the situation but said it was investigating ownership"
Well, Vale, you fix it and ask the District Auditor to surcharge the County for it. Pavements are one of the few public services provided by councils-schools 'n'ospitals and care etc, are all personal servoces. Get your most important public function right-now.
P.S. plucky gentleman living on a boat at his age. They're miserably cold, cramped places even in high summer.
"A spokesman for the Vale council said that the entire street is the responsibility of the county council, except for a small strip opposite the Broad Face pub, which they have sent a contractor to investigate for possible repair work. Oxfordshire County Council refused to comment on the situation but said it was investigating ownership" Well, Vale, you fix it and ask the District Auditor to surcharge the County for it. Pavements are one of the few public services provided by councils-schools 'n'ospitals and care etc, are all personal servoces. Get your most important public function right-now. P.S. plucky gentleman living on a boat at his age. They're miserably cold, cramped places even in high summer. Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: 0

8:06am Thu 13 Sep 12

livid99 says...

Councils shirking their responsibilities again......
Councils shirking their responsibilities again...... livid99
  • Score: 1

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