Eastbourne woman calls for disability ramps to be replaced

An Eastbourne woman has called for three disability ramps to be replaced after they were removed almost five months ago.

Wednesday, 14th April 2021, 4:40 pm
Updated Monday, 19th April 2021, 9:02 am

The ramps were in place in Howletts Close which is named after Janet Sullivan’s 94-year-old father, Jack Howlett, who still lives on the street.

Mrs Sullivan originally raised concern about the ramps, which had been in place for 40 years, as they had become damaged.

She said, “During the past 40 years the residents of Howletts Close, who consist mainly of elderly and disabled people, have been using two metal ramps to negotiate the footpath leading up to Broderick Road in Hampden Park. In November I complained to East Sussex Highways that these ramps had now become dangerous as over time they had been bent and were now protruding above the pavement line.

The former ramps at Howletts Close, Eastbourne. Picture from Google Street Maps. SUS-210414-090935001

“East Sussex Highways visited and removed not only these two ramps but also the ramp outside the assisted living flats for the elderly, which was used by the ambulance service when necessary. The Highway representative said at the time that they would be replaced.”

More than four months on residents of Howletts Close are still without these ramps and Mrs Sullivan believes this could create issues for people who live on the street.

Mrs Sullivan said, “In the meantime this is leading to a lot of problems for the residents and forcing them into making dangerous decisions when trying to leave the close. For example, riding their mobility scooters up the middle of the road to reach the dropped kerbs at the junction with Broderick Road.

“This is a small close and cars park all down one side leaving room for one way traffic only at a time. By far the safest way is for all residents to remain on the pavement which will take them directly to Broderick Road.”

An East Sussex Highways spokesman said, “The ramps in Howletts Close were removed after reports that they had become badly damaged and were creating a trip hazard for pedestrians.

“Although these were not originally installed by the county council, we will be replacing them with temporary ramps while we plan a more permanent solution.”

East Sussex Highways has said the work is being planned although no date is set.

East Sussex Highways also said it works on a priority system where defects involving safety issues are prioritised.