Lack of dropped kerb at Northampton junction 'is putting disabled people at risk'

Disabled people are being put at risk by a lack of dropped kerbs on a Northampton street as they have to use driveways to cross the road.

Tuesday, 1st October 2019, 5:41 pm
Venetia Earp-Jones wants the council lower the kerbs on Ennerdale Road

On the junction of Ennerdale Road and Highlands Avenue, two of the corners are dropped but two of them are not, meaning people in wheelchairs or mobility scooters cannot cross the road there.

They have to look for driveways along the road, which there are plenty of, but cars park all along the pavement making visibility difficult.

Retired nurse Venetia Earp-Jones uses a mobility scooter and says she has had several near-misses with cars as she has tried to cross the road.

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Venetia Earp-Jones wants the council lower the kerbs on Ennerdale Road

"If these pavements had a dropped kerb it would make it much easier for me and other wheelchair users," she said.

Venetia, 77, had to give up her car three years ago due to scoliosis and a neck operation so she has a mobility scooter to go shopping with, but can use a stick for shorter distances.

She has had to learn where all of the dropped kerbs and driveways are on her usual routes so she does not get stuck.

The former NHS nurse just cannot understand why every corner of the junction between Ennerdale Road and Highlands Avenue is not dropped when the next crossroads along is.

Venetia wrote to Northamptonshire County Council to ask for it to be changed but got no reply, so she tried her MP, Michael Ellis, whose office did reply but said the council told them that nothing could be done.

However a council spokesman told the Chronicle & Echo that the junction is on a list of new dropped kerbs to be considered next year.

“We do understand the frustration and concern with accessibility along the public highway in general for powered-mobility and wheelchairs," they said.

“Requests for dropped kerbs across the county are assessed each year and prioritised under our accessibility budget.

"Unfortunately this budget is fully committed for this financial year.

“We can confirm however that this is on our list in the funding bid for the next financial year.

"These will be considered during February/March next year and if approved for funding will be installed in summer of 2020.”