LETTER: Elderly facing obstacle course

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Don’t you love these up and down pavements in Eastbourne? I looked up as I approached the bottom of Northiam Road to see an elderly lady, supported by a stick, perched on top of an area of buckled pavement measuring around 10ft by 5ft. The tarmac hillocks were at least four or five inches high and stretched across the width of the path.

I continued along Victoria Drive, passing several lesser examples, to Albert Parade where there is an impressive section of erupted tarmac that could certainly ‘turn an ankle.’ On the return journey I pondered the reason for the obstacle course that these pavements represent and concluded they are intentional. The council has embarked upon a public health campaign directed at the elderly. The benefits include memory and concentration (these pavements cause pedestrians to concentrate on spatial awareness, not to let the mind wander, and provide a daily opportunity to remember where these obstacles are); vision (the disrupted tarmac blends with the even surrounding areas and it is therefore necessary to peer through the cataracts, floaters, etc thus improving the visual acuity); mobility and joint stabilisation (staggering over these areas improves the ability of the muscles to support replaced hips and dodgy knee joints); and hearing (many elderly people, ungratefully, attempt to avoid these fitness opportunities by walking out into the road and need to strain their hearing to avoid vehicles).

I would recommend that when the desired health improvements have been recorded, catalogued, and analysed, the programme is rolled out over the town to the benefit of all.

Nigel Kent

Crunden Road

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