Thursday, 24 August 2017

Damaged kerbstones ‘put children’s lives in danger’

DAMAGED kerbstones on a walkway to a Henley school could put lives at risk, claims a headteacher.

DAMAGED kerbstones on a walkway to a Henley school could put lives at risk, claims a headteacher.

Children and parents walking to and from Sacred Heart School and Pre-school use the narrow through-road between Greys Road and Greys Hill.

But many of the kerbstones are out of position or broken and are in need of repair.

However, Oxfordshire County Council says the road is unadopted so it will not accept responsibility — even though it created the pavement in the first place.

Karen Edwards, headteacher of Sacred Heart School, said: “It’s a very narrow walkway and if someone was to trip they could fall in front of a passing car.

“It is a concern that anybody travelling to and from our site might trip over and damage themselves even more seriously than a broken arm, which of course is bad enough.”

Two years ago, a woman broke her arm after falling on the pavement.

Mrs Edwards said the first kerbstones became loose within months of the pavement being laid in 2009 because car tyres catch the kerb.

“Somebody did a minor fill-in job but there has been more and more damage, particularly over the last year due to the bad weather,” she said. “We are all rather frustrated that we are still no closer to making it an area that is regularly maintained and therefore safe.”

Andrea Tsoi, who has two young sons, Matthew, three, and Daniel, five, at the school, said the pavement resembled an assault course.

Matthew recently fell into the road after tripping on one of the loose kerb stones. “The children see the kerbstones as a challenge,” said Mrs Tsoi. “It does seem a bit bonkers that the council put the pavement in but it will not facilitate the repair work.

“If it was a normal piece of highway I’m sure it would have been done by now. It’s a real hazard and something needs to be done.”

Fellow parent Natalie Earp said: “It’s quite messy and a bit dangerous because the road is narrow and cars come on to the pavement while the children are walking to school.”

Councillor Laila Meachin, who chairs Henley Town Council’s traffic advisory committee, said: “It’s not good enough that Oxfordshire County Council won’t maintain it when it put the kerbstones and pavements in. This through-road is designed as a walkway for students. I do not think that we can accept that it has been left in this state.”

A county council spokesman said: “The path is not part of the adopted highway and we do not have funding available to carry out repairs. It is possible that damage has been caused by vehicles but it is not possible to prevent this by way of weight restrictions of other measures.”

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