Mobility scooter campaigners win fight for change on “dangerous” road

Bournemouth Echo: KERB CAMPAIGN: County councillor Peter Richardson with Oaktree Park resident Matt Barry KERB CAMPAIGN: County councillor Peter Richardson with Oaktree Park resident Matt Barry

CAMPAIGNERS who feared elderly people could be killed by the lack of dropped kerbs in St Leonards have won their fight for change.

In March this year, the Daily Echo reported that those who use mobility scooters were “taking their lives into their hands” in the village.

Oaktree Park residents who use the scooters said it was almost impossible to get onto pavements next to the busy A31 because of the height of the kerbs.

But, after work by county councillor Peter Richardson and parish councillors Mike Dyer and Jim Crow, funding has been secured to tackle the issue.

Cllr Richardson said the three felt the work had to be completed as “a matter of urgency”.

“It was a dangerous situation,” he said.

Although the Highways Agency acknowledged the problem in the summer, officials said work to remedy the situation had to be part of a four-year programme.

However, new funding from Dorset County Council and the parish council means that a programme of work to drop the kerbs will begin this week.

Cllr Richardson said: “The option to wait for possible inclusion in a future maintenance programme by the Highways Agency would put lives unnecessarily at risk and not be acceptable.

“I am really pleased the parish council and the county council understood the importance and real urgency of this campaign. Once complete, the residents, who needed better access alongside the very busy A31 highway, can travel in the knowledge they are safer than ever before.”

Currently, there is only one dropped kerb along the stretch, outside St Leonards Community Hospital, which was put in place by the NHS after concerns were raised by local councillors.


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