Using a gopher opens up a world of trouble
MUCH is said about the lack of safe passage for cyclists but nothing has been said about the safety of those of us who have to use a mobility device i.e. “gopher”
Until last year I did not need a mobile device to help me walk or a footpath to get me from A to B and therefore had not noticed or possibly cared too much about access for those less fortunate than myself in regards to getting about.
My experiences in the past few months have made me aware as to the state or the non-existence of our infrastructure.
Many streets have no footpaths and those that do have paths are little better than tracks. These paths have little or no regard for those using mobility aids. The paths are also shared with or commandeered by cyclists who in the main do not show any consideration.
For others, perhaps the handicapped are not supposed to use the footpaths, because these have no markings on them to say otherwise.
In many cases, the difference in height between road and pathway at crossovers is up to 100mm. The angle of the footpath to the house crossovers is 30 degrees and people park their cars in the crossover, thus forcing pedestrians, cyclists and mobility scooters on to the road.
Where there is no other access and you are forced on to the road you often receive abuse from car drivers.
Where traffic lights exist, little time is allowed for a safe crossing and to be caught in the middle island of a main road is far from pleasant.
Rubbish bins, large waste bins and building materials are placed on the footpath and to negotiate these pedestrians, mothers with prams and small children, cyclists and “crippled “old b******s” have to go on the roadway.
One suggestion that will alert councillors to the problems faced is to let councils hire a few “gophers” and make those who decide these things go for a ride on them using the facilities provided. Ray Peake, Belmont.