l’ll only be five minutes mate” says the tradesman jumping out of the van parked half road half pavement immediately in front of me preventing any further progress with my mobility scooter.
Do I wait until the driver returns? Perhaps he’ll be more than five minutes. Do I turn back hoping to find a dropped kerb so that I can travel along the road taking my chances with passing traffic? I will be breaking the law of course being on a 4 mph scooter but then so is the van driver obstructing the pavement.
Then will I find another dropped kerb the other side of the van before I reach a major junction where I will be at risk amidst the traffic? I remember there is a dropped kerb quite a long way back but there was a car parked beside it making it unusable. I could take a photo and email it to a PCSO.
Motorists can be fined for parking over dropped kerbs, so drivers please be aware and think of others when you park even for five minutes!
Public utility repair work that involves digging holes frequently interrupts pavement travel, not only with trades’ vehicle parking issues but with barriers placed haphazardly at intervals making an ordinary pavement into a chicane or slalom worthy of any test of manoeuvrability.
Sometimes a challenge, often a frustration occurs when pavement travel is obstructed and a narrow strip of roadway is cordoned off by plastic barriers with no temporary ramp onto the road surface and is often too narrow for passing.
Of course this work has to be done and will ultimately benefit us all.
Scenarios like these occur frequently in the lives of those using mobility aids whether they be mobility scooters, wheelchairs, wheeled walking frames or similar. With a little more thought situations like this can be avoided.
The Eastbourne Access Group has published a guide for disabled people in which are maps showing pavements and the location of dropped kerbs and vehicle crossovers where safe mobility vehicle travel and road crossing can be made. The free guide is not exclusively for disabled people and can be obtained from the Tourist Information Centre, local libraries and many other locations around the town.
The guide with maps is downloadable in full or in part from the Eastbourne Access Group’s website at http://www.eastbourneaccessgroup.webs.com.
Disability is not a lifestyle choice; a disabling illness or accident can happen to anyone at any time.
Disability Awareness costs nothing but can mean so much to those with a disability. Please be Disability Aware.