EXCLUSIVE: THE REAL COST OF MARKET PLACE?
A DISABLED woman has called for an urgent review of parking in the town after she was almost run over in Market Place.
Lynn Antick said if her carer had not pulled her out of the way, she would have been hit by the vehicle.
Lynn, who is registered blind said it was “unbelievable” parking bays were not clearly marked leaving drivers and pedestrians confused.
“I thought we were walking on the pavement but it turned out to be a parking bay,” she explained.
“I just froze when the car approached and if my carer had not been so quick to react, we could both have been hit. As it was, I was shaking.”
Lynn said she is now too terrified to go shopping without someone with her and fears she will be stuck at home.
“There are no markings on the ground and only a tiny sign high up on a pole to let people know they are in a parking bay.
“I cannot see let alone read something as small as that. I know many other people have the same problem.
“After the first incident, I was walking towards Boots when a huge lorry pulled in to what seemed like pavement but is actually a parking area.
“If I had been on my own, I would have been mowed down.”
Lynn was so upset she contacted the borough’s highways department and told them road markings and signs were inadequate.
“They were very good and made notes of all the problem areas.
“I told them the town centre needs to have large markings like you see in places like supermarkets.
“I also suggested some kind of physical barrier to separate vehicles from pedestrians.
“I dread someone will be seriously injured or worse if nothing is done.”
A council spokesperson told The Wokingham Paper that special disabled parking bay symbols have always been part of the plan for Market Place and will be installed. They are currently on order and will help with identification of the bays.
And in a statement issued last week, Wokingham Borough and Town Councils confirmed that a new safety review will be undertaken and the accessibility and disability groups and representatives who were consulted over the original design will be brought back together to help with the audit.
Executive member for Regeneration Cllr Philip Mirfin said: “Safety is of paramount importance – particularly when it concerns our more vulnerable residents.”