Fix our footpaths plea from residents after falls and trips

UPPERMILL pavements are in urgent need of repair, claim residents who are fed up of falling and tripping along the village High Street.

The Independent recently met with a group of locals at Riverside House who have been building up a catalogue of incidents over the last few years.

They say it is affecting the elderly who struggle with their balance on the uneven cobbles and flags to those in wheelchairs and mobility scooters who resort to driving on the road.

And they are calling for Oldham Council to take a look – and even do site visit with them – to see what they have to endure.

“It’s pretty bad all along but the worst bit is from Puddleduck’s shop down to Buckley’s Bakery and around the bus stop,” said one resident, who wished to be unnamed.

“It makes walking into the village centre from Riverside very difficult. The other side of the road is a bit better but there isn’t a pelican crossing to get across to it!”

One lady told the Independent she has fallen three times and broken her nose on one occasion while another has fallen five times and smashed her glasses.

One resident fractured her knee cap after stumbling on a loose flag, another was left with bruising all over her face after she tripped just a few weeks ago, and others have been left frightened to go out.

And one gentleman recalled: “I got my walking stick stuck between two flag stones which were about two inches apart and I fell flat on my face!

“My stick had to be prised out by a helpful young man who was passing by. Something needs to be done.”

Many residents who use wheelchairs or push relatives in one have also encountered bumpy surfaces and loose flags, as well as high drop curbs.

“I have resorted to driving in the road, which we can get prosecuted for and I have been stopped a couple of times by the police,” explained one man.

“When I tell them why, they are understanding. But it would be better to get the pavements sorted so everyone can use them and I don’t put my life at risk driving in the road.”

“A lot of us are getting older and are off balance,” said one resident. “Why can’t we just have the footpaths tarmacked like in other places so it’s easier to walk on than cobbles.

“I understand the councillors wanted an old fashioned village look and it is a conservation area, but it’s not practical for us! We have to put up with it every day.

“Mothers with prams who walk along there have complained about it as well as it’s not easy to use.”

Another lady quipped: “My friend jokes if you see someone stooping you know they are from Uppermill as they are looking down at the floor so they don’t trip up!”

The residents have previously sent a petition, backed by MP Debbie Abrahams, to Oldham Council but were told there were only minor issues with the footway.

They hope the council will visit Uppermill and walk the path with them to understand their struggles.

A spokesperson for Oldham Council said none of the pictures sent by the Independent indicated any intervention issues that are required.

He added: “However, it has already been established that various surfaces and crossing points are in need of refurbishment, including this area of Uppermill.

“The council has successfully secured funding from the Department for Transport’s Safer Fund for improvement works to the A670.

“These works will include improvements to the pedestrian realm through Uppermill which will address these concerns. This work is scheduled to start from April 2019.”

One Reply to “Fix our footpaths plea from residents after falls and trips”

  1. My wife fell and broke her arm on Saturday night (17th Nov) due to the state on the tarmac outside the entrance to the war memorial. Something needs to be done sooner rather than later.

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