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Staff and residents, Susan Marsh, Tracie Croft, Elsie Howe and Tom Rowe from Abbeville Residential Home on Wellesley Road, Great Yarmouth. They would like to have a pedestrian crossing on North Drive near Sandown Road. Picture: James Bass
Friday, October 19, 2012
They enjoy beautiful views of Great Yarmouth’s golden sands from their retirement home, a stone’s throw from the seafront.
But it is a form of torture for elderly residents of Abbeville Residential Home, as they are cut off from the beach by a one-mile stretch of Marine Parade with no pedestrian crossing.
Pensioners at the Wellesley Road home could manage the 100m journey, but cannot negotiate the busy road with their zimmer frames and wheelchairs.
The nearest crossings are by Britannia Pier and Salisbury Road - both around half a mile from the Abbeville.
This means they cannot enjoy an ice cream at the seafront cafe just minutes away - besides the Waterways - and feel summer is passing them by.
Now they are launching a campaign for county council highways bosses to build a crossing with a traffic island at the nearbySandown Road junction.
Grandmother Susan Marsh, 70, must use a walker to get around, and finds it impossible to get over the road without a crossing.
“If you want an ice cream there’s nowhere you can get across there,” she said. “In my room upstairs I’ve got a great view, I can see the playing fields and the sea but I can’t get to it.”
Determined to buy a cone, Mrs Marsh attempted the walk this summer, but had to return to the Abbeville and ask for painkillers.
When her son visits from Ormesby he must give her a lift to the beach in the car - despite it being a 100m journey - as he cannot help her over the road.
Kathleen Norfolk, 96, added her daughter cannot get her across the road in her wheelchair for three-quarters of the year.
“It’s alright in winter, but as spring comes it gets quite chaotic,” said the retired Caister newsagent. “It’s lovely weather in summer and it’s not far but we can’t cross.”
Tom Rowe, head of senior care at Abbeville, which has 36 residents, said the lack of a crossing is dangerous.
“Through the summer we try to take people out and trying to get across that road is mad,” he added. “It’s a wide road and quite busy, and you have to rely on people’s goodwill which isn’t always apparent.”
A previous attempt to get a crossing was refused two years ago as county council bosses said there was a low accident rate, but Mr Rowe said there should not have to be an accident before something is done.
Residents are being supported by Tom Garrod, county councillor for Yarmouth North and Central division, who met with highways chiefs this week.