This article is prompted by news of yet another person falling down in the street, having tripped on an uneven pavement. Jocelyn Rowe was walking along Wish Ward when she fell, suffering extensive bruising and facial damage. “I was very shaken,” she remarked afterwards, “the state of the pavements is clearly hazardous – it is quite shocking to see how many paving stones are broken, uneven or loose.“
Other falls have been reported from various parts of the town, with Market Road being mentioned several times, but also Cinque Ports Street and the High Street have witnessed incidents.
More elderly residents such as my wife have lost the confidence to walk along the street because they are terrified of falling again. Yet nothing has been done to see that the pavements are properly repaired and maintained.
It is difficult to identify on camera one particular hazard spot over another, because the degree of unevenness does not stand out on film.
It may be a raised manhole drain cover, a cast iron pavement drain gully or an unexpected raised curb that creates the safety risk.
To select just two examples, crossing the top of Market Road from the leather shop to Simon Milne’s is extremely dangerous for pedestrians. And I have tripped coming up Market Road opposite the delicatessen, fortunately without being hurt, but embarrassingly in front of my daughter who happened to be standing there.
It is a likely that the recent pandemic lockdowns have contributed to a reduction in people’s mobility and general fitness, including their sense of balance, but that is a factor to be taken into account in meeting the needs of an ageing population.
In this election year for county council office, it is to be hoped that overdue attention will be given towards making Rye pavements safer. Please write in with your experience to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image Credits: Kenneth Bird .