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Local concerns grow over pavement obstruction

FOLLOWING an article that was published in the last edition of Frome Times, a number of people have been in touch to also express their concern about pavement obstruction.

Stephen Hyde expressed his concern by saying, “I was born and grew up in Frome and  I come to Frome on a regular basis. I was registered severely sight impaired/ blind in 2010 and appreciate how difficult it can be to negotiate pavements.

“I also have encountered vehicles parked on the pavement, often where there are double yellow lines, making travel extremely difficult not only for mobility scooters, but also for people with vision loss, not to mention mothers with prams and pushchairs. In my opinion drivers are not always aware the problems that they are causing various groups of pedestrians.

“May I point out that The Royal National Institute of Blind people are running campaigns to highlight this problem. RNIB’s campaign ‘Who put that there’ encompasses pavement parking along with pedestrian restrictions such as ‘A’ boards and other street obstacles, along with shared space.”

Another resident, David Morgan said, “I understand the frustration of the disabled reader who commented on the obstructions caused by motorists parking vehicles on the pavements. Just as frustrating are the owners of properties who allow their hedges to overgrow the pavements.

“I’ve lived in Frome for 34 years and the problem has got worse. I’ve noticed more now that I walk my granddaughter in her pushchair and quite frequently have had to step off the path and onto the road.

“I cite the properties whose hedges overgrow to the extent of around 50% of the pavement width at the junction of Brunel Way/Acacia Drive; Wyville Road/Wychelm Road and a house on Clink Road. I complained to the council about this type of obstruction several years ago and did not have the courtesy of a reply.”

Another disgruntled resident, although not disabled, whole heartedly agrees with fellow locals’ plight. They told Frome Times, “It is not only pavements where cars are parked without thought for pedestrians and people using mobility scooters or indeed with pushchairs. I have particular concerns for dropped kerbs and footpaths within the town.  I believe it is actually illegal to park on a dropped kerb and quite frankly it seems ridiculous when these have been provided for everyone’s convenience that these are continually obstructed.

“I have in fact witnessed a fellow mobility scooter user become marooned on a footpath in the Stonebridge area twice because the dropped kerb at the end of the footpath was obstructed by careless parking.  Luckily myself and a neighbour realised the gentleman’s distress and knocked doors to ask for the culprit to move the offending vehicle.  However, lessons have not been learned and this particular location is regularly used as a parking space.

“Some years ago I actually asked for yellow lines to be painted but apparently this is too expensive! I would have thought promoting Frome as an ‘access for all’ town would have had plenty of benefits facilitating whole families, regardless of physical ability, being able to move around the town with ease.

“I have also recently noticed a sign in Easthill Cemetery provided by Mendip District Council which requests considerate parking to allow disabled access.  If yellow lines are NOT the answer then perhaps better signage is an option. It seems to me there is a general lack of awareness of this issue, not just in Frome, but elsewhere.

“I would also add that there also needs to be some sort of ‘respect the pedestrian’ campaign as vehicular access is always paramount and it can be quite awkward if not downright dangerous being a pedestrian these days. As green issues are continually top of forward thinking councils’ agendas then I think we should have improved footpaths and walking routes.

“I would also suggest some serious maintenance work needs to be done to the existing pavements in Frome, as they are higgledy-piggledy patchwork quilts of tarmac and paving stones, so if having to step off the pavement into the road to avoid a parked car doesn’t get you, then these apologies for pavements surely will!”

For more information about the RNIB ‘Who put that there’ campaign, visit ing/current-campaigns/my-street