‘Dangerous’ uneven pavements in Eastbourne town centre ‘discriminate’ against older people, mums using buggies, and the disabled.
That’s according to a campaign to improve the town’s walkways, which has just launched an online petition calling for funding to fix the issue.
It is being led by resident Marie Hennelly, who is still recovering from a second serious fall after tripping on pavement in town – leaving her hospitalised.
She said, “We are calling all residents to please sign our new online petition.
“We need your support so we can approach East Sussex County Council again requesting they allocate funding for a planned programme of improvements to Eastbourne pavements which are currently in a neglected condition.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the 1,800 residents who have to date signed our manual petition. We hope all councillors support our campaign, especially councillors who represent Eastbourne on East Sussex County Council as we rely on them to be our voice.”
Marie also wanted to thank all the staff at Hastings Conquest and Eastbourne DGH who helped her be able to walk again after her fall.
The campaign has the support of the town’s Chamber of Commerce, Eastbourne Hospitality Association, federation of small businesses, and neighbourhood panels for Meads, Upperton, and the town centre.
Chief Executive of the Chamber Christina Ewbank said, “Tree roots and erosion has made the pavements so uneven that walking on them can be hazardous for anyone with balance problems.
“This discriminates against our older residents and those with mobility issues and can also deter visitors from coming to town.”
One resident, Christopher Fox Walker said using a disability buggy on the “uneven and dangerous pavements” is “extremely difficult”.
While Luke Johnson, town centre manager at the chamber, said,“I would highly recommend a plan to bring our pavements up to scratch.
“Town centre retailers are very concerned about the poor quality of pavements and the implications this can have on people’s health and the resulting negative impact on business.
“If we do not have an accessible town centre then people will choose to stay away and do their shopping online instead, which will be a travesty for our high street.”
View the petition at: www.change.org/p/east-sussex-county-council-safer-pavements-in-eastbourne