Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Fault 8: Pedestrian entrapment (example 2)

Highways Act 1980, Safety Provision, Section 66 (1): It is the duty of a highway authority to provide in or by the side of a highway maintainable at the public expense by them which consists of or comprises a made-up carriageway, a proper and sufficient footway as part of the highway in any case where they consider the provision of a footway as necessary or desirable for the safety or accommodation of pedestrians; and they may light any footway provided by them under this subsection.

Highways Act 1980, Safety Provision, Section 66 (8): A highway authority or council shall pay compensation to any person who sustains damage by reason of the execution by them of works under subsection (2) or (3) above.

Planning guidance and codes of practice call for a minimum width of relatively level footway so wheel chair users can safely navigate the footway. Cheshire County Council have left no level footway forcing Wheel chair users into a choice between
  • Use the adverse sloping footway and risk tipping over or sliding down the slope.
  • use the road and risk being hit by a car.
  • cross the road on the bend so they can continue their journey on a level footway.
For some idiotic reason Cheshire County Council only put a dropped kerb on the footway at one side of the adverse slope [Photo B], thus allowing wheel chair users access to the road but failed to do the same on the other side of the adverse slope [Photo A], thus denying them the chance to rejoin the footway. Therefore,wheel chair users are forced to continue along the road until they reach a neighbours dropped kerb so they can rejoin the footway.

This is a significant and totally unnecessary risk for Cheshire County Council to place on wheel chair users.

Ironically
their plan shows a dropped kerb at both sides of the adverse slope. So they can't even be trusted to complete the works to their own plan.

Design Bulletin 32 also states that a minimum width of 900 mm should be carried through past drives etc. to allow wheelchairs / prams to pass and avoid the ramps to dropped kerbs;

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