‘Paths dangerous for disabled’
A DISABLED scooter rider is angry nobody in Ashford seems to care for people with difficulty getting around.
For the past three years the battery-operated vehicle used by Jackie O’Connor from Arcon Close, South Ashford, has been her only hope of freedom, and without it she is housebound.
But the 64-year-old was left stranded as she crossed the pedestrian bridge from Victoria Park into the town centre when her tyre was punctured by shards of glass she claims regularly cover the crossing.
Unable to move, she was helped by a friend from South Ashford Baptist Church who removed the wheel and took it for repair, but she had to remain propped against a rail until he returned, almost an hour later, to help her home.
Miss O’Connor said: “The state of the bridge, and many other pedestrian paths I have to use as my scooter is not registered to go on the road, is disgusting.
“If only the yobs could understand the danger to people like me, and other walkers and dogs, when they smash their beer bottles.
“It cost me £22 for a new tyre and tube but the council, which is responsible for clearing rubbish up, refuses to pay me any compensation.”
Paul Jackson, Ashford council’s head of environmental services, said Miss O’Connor had written in November, asking for compensation for a punctured wheel on her mobility scooter caused by broken glass on the footbridge on October 27.
After an investigation, the decision was taken not to compensate her. She then wrote again last month, asking for the case to be sent to the council’s insurers.
He said: “This has been done and the insurers have repudiated the case. The council is not liable for the incident and has been found to have done everything that can be reasonably expected.
“It is very sad that some members of our community blight our environment and cause nuisance and inconvenience to others by dropping litter and bottles on our streets.”
Mr Jackson said: “The areas around Elwick Road are swept daily and Ashford town centre is swept early every morning and throughout the day.
“If a member of the public reports an incident of broken glass, we will investigate and do our best to have it cleared away.”