MANSFIELD: Council path‘putting public safety at risk’

A disabled Mansfield man has made fresh calls for a ‘dangerous’ path to be re-designed - seven years after first raising a petition on the issue.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 15th April 2014, 1:00 pm
The slope on the path in question.
The slope on the path in question.

Wheelchair user Roland Hassall is angry nothing has been done to address the ‘overly steep’ gradient of the walkway between the housing estate where he lives and the Oak Tree Tesco complex, off Jubilee Way South.

He thought he had won his fight for action when Mansfield mayor Tony Egginton publicly promised something would be done, but is still waiting.

“The biggest problem is since they built the news Tesco store, the ground level has risen by at least 15 to 20 feet and the path is now far too steep and too dangerous to go down,” he said.

Wheelchair user Roland Hassall has won support in his fight to make a path close to his Mansfield home safer to use.

“I’m worried that one day I will have a heart attack or fall out of my chair and hurt myself.

“The answer I have got from the council is that I should go around the road, which is almost a mile round trip.

“But why should I when there should be a perfectly good footpath and the facilities I want to use are only a stone’s throw from my bungalow?

“They’ve also said I could use another path nearby, but that is almost as steep and not safe to use.

“I’ve been fighting this since the petition in 2007 and I’m not just fighting this for me, but all the old folk and also the parents with young children who struggle with pushchairs.

“Tony Egginton stood up at a meeting at least three years ago and promised us it would be done by that Christmas, but it hasn’t happened.”

Colleen Harwood, Nottinghamshire County councillor for the Mansfield East ward where the path is situated, said: “It is unacceptable this has gone on for so long.

“It’s a public right of way, but in my view it is not fit for purpose. There should be a full quality impact assessment carried out.”

Nottinghamshire County councillor for Mansfield South, Andy Sissons, added: “Part of the problem has been actually finding out who was responsible for the path, but we know now it belongs to Mansfield District Council and now we’re calling on them to take action on it.

It’s bad enough in good weather, never mind when ice gets on it in the winter.”

Frank Kendall, chairman of Oak Tree neighbourhood management team is concerned that a serious accident is waiting to happen.

“We don’t want major problem or even a fatality before something is done,” he said. “The council could end up paying millions in claims if they don’t spend the money to make improvements now.

“There are people in sheltered accommodation on the estate who need to use the path, but it’s dangerous, especially as there is no handrail on one side.”

Mayor Egginton insisted the issue was ‘on his radar’ and it would be an issue he would look into afresh.

He added: “I agree that it’s ridiculous a wheelchair user has to wheel himself up there when it’s a route he uses so regularly.

“It’s a situation that needs resolving and I will be talking to the Tesco store manager in the next week to look at how we can do so.”