FOOTPATHS: Trips are all too common

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David Fenwick, of Fordingbridge, wrote concerning his trip in Monkseaton and resulting injuries (News Guardian, November 2).

This event is all too often experienced by pedestrians, including myself, particularly when we are quite elderly and on walking sticks.

My most dangerous such event was when stepping onto a pavement, having crossed a street, my walking stick encountered a long strip of mossy build-up along the inner edge of the kerb, where a flagstone had sunk down.

The stick was complete with safety ferrule, but went sideways sharply, causing me to fall and break the hip bone that already had a metal hip replacement in it. I was in hospital and care facilities for five weeks, and in some sort of recovery for some months.

I made representations to North Tyneside Council, at meetings mostly, which is aware of broken pavements, particularly when footways are surfaced with flagstones.

Such trip points rarely arise naturally. Often they are caused by vehicles parking on paving flags and grass verges. The areas of asphalt or concrete slab paving are less vulnerable, but less used.

The common sight of a householder having their front garden paved over is often the reason why the public footway outside a premises is reduced to crazy paving over a long area. The path may be taken up with a variety of heavy vehicles and materials.

Mr Fenwick could make a claim for an injury compensation case, where the trip point is ‘significant’. I did not make a claim, but have found out what the payout in a typical year has been for such accidents.

A regime of regular inspection of footways takes place, but the funds to repair are just not available.

Mr AM Johnson

North Shields