Lancaster disabilities campaigner sets up petition calling for pavement repairs in the city
A young disabilities campaigner from Lancaster has set up a petition calling for ‘dangerous’ pavements in the city to be repaired.
Cameron Redpath, 19, disability officer for Lancashire Young Labour, and wheelchair user, said: “I’ve set up a petition for pavement improvements in Lancaster.
“Most pavements in Lancaster either have no dropped kerb to get off or on to which then you have to start looking for the nearest one which sometimes can be much further away.
“Pavement slabs that are cracked, split or simply raised can cause a dangerous hazard to many wheelchair or pram users.
“In February I fell out of my wheelchair after I hit a raised pavement slab. I was coming back from my gran’s house and was literally a few doors away from home when my wheelchair got stuck on a raised pavement slab. It completely flipped me out of my wheelchair. I scraped my knees but I couldn’t get back into my wheelchair because it had tipped over.
“Luckily two people came to help me back into my wheelchair.
“This was because of a raised paving slab and because the slabs aren’t being looked after people like me are being tipped out of our wheelchairs because we are not thought about.
“343 people have signed my petition so far.
“The pavements in Lancaster are lethal. There are no dropped kerbs and the paving slabs are cracked, split and raised which is causing accidents.
“After petitioning for a bus shelter outside Ridge Primary for four years its finally been installed and glass is in now too.
“There has never been a bus shelter there and it’s the only stop on the Ridge.
“I’m thilled that it has been put in, quite a lot of regulars use the stop and there is enough room for a wheelchair and a small bench.
“The main goal is getting the pavements sorted at the moment, I’ve logged my recent fall. The paving slab on Keswick Road was in a state of disrepair.”
Cameron, who has cerebral palsy, has been the young disability officer for four years, since he was 15.
He said: “I just want people to come forward with any pavement issues.”
Cat Smith MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood said: “The condition of the pavements in Lancaster are dreadful and there are some real problem areas like on the Ridge Estate where Cameron has had trouble and sadly his falls.
“Years of neglect by Lancashire County Council has led to real issues which are impairing residents’ ability to get out and about; this is totally unacceptable. “We need the Council to take this issue seriously, make urgent repairs and improve maintenance so that wheelchair users have equal access to all other pavement users. I am fully supportive of Cameron’s campaign.”
A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: “We’re aware of the potential for relatively small defects on pavements to cause people to trip, or create difficulty for people using wheelchairs or prams, and we repair any defects we find, or which are reported by the public, of 2cm or more in order to keep them as safe as reasonably possible.
“We inspect Keswick Road every three months, most recently in April, and have carried out a small number of repairs following these inspections.
“A member of our highways team met with Cameron a few years ago, following which we installed a number of new mobility crossings to improve accessibility around the area. We spend around £30,000 a year installing new mobility crossings across Lancaster district and will consider creating additional crossings over the coming year.”
Cameron’s petition can be signed here