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'An accident waiting to happen': Badly damaged pavements spark safety fears among residents

PUBLISHED: 07:52 15 November 2019 | UPDATED: 11:42 15 November 2019

Chris Stowers, 72, left, with Bryan Jakes, 71, who worries for the safety of his partially-blind wife due to the uneven and damaged pavements on Links Avenue in Hellesdon. Picture: Daniel Moxon

Chris Stowers, 72, left, with Bryan Jakes, 71, who worries for the safety of his partially-blind wife due to the uneven and damaged pavements on Links Avenue in Hellesdon. Picture: Daniel Moxon

Archant

The condition of pavements on a street on the outskirts of the city has residents worried, with one describing the situation as "an accident waiting to happen".

Concerned residents say that damage to the pavements on Links Avenue in Hellesdon makes it unsafe to walk on. Picture: Daniel MoxonConcerned residents say that damage to the pavements on Links Avenue in Hellesdon makes it unsafe to walk on. Picture: Daniel Moxon

Years of temporary repairs have left the walking surface uneven, which some claim presents a hazard for the high population of elderly people who live on and near to Links Avenue in Hellesdon.

Part of the street was resurfaced in recent years, but resident Mark Turner, 46, was among several who were up in arms when the work suddenly stopped.

"Me and my next door neighbour went to the council three years ago when they started to do the other side of Links Avenue," he said.

"We were told the rest of the road would be done a year or so later.

Bryan Jakes, 71, holding a piece of the loose pavement. He worries for the safety of his partially-blind wife due to the uneven and damaged pavements on Links Avenue in Hellesdon. Picture: Daniel MoxonBryan Jakes, 71, holding a piece of the loose pavement. He worries for the safety of his partially-blind wife due to the uneven and damaged pavements on Links Avenue in Hellesdon. Picture: Daniel Moxon

"It's now been three years and they haven't done that. In the meantime everything has broken up."

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On November 6 this year he reported the matter to Norfolk County Council for the third time, to which the authority replied: "We could not find the problem so have not taken any action at this time."

Mr Turner - an East of England Ambulance Service worker - said that he "doesn't believe for one minute they have even come out", and is worried for the safety of other residents in the meantime.

Loose pieces of pavement on Links Avenue in Hellesdon. Picture: Daniel MoxonLoose pieces of pavement on Links Avenue in Hellesdon. Picture: Daniel Moxon

He said: "If somebody was to fall over and break their neck or back - it's such a traumatic injury and a lot of elderly people tend not to recover from it.

"It's just an accident waiting to happen out there. That's our biggest concern."

Neighbour Bryan Jakes, 71, a retired BT engineer, echoed his concerns, saying: "My wife is partially-sighted. It's very difficult for her to walk down the paths on her own because of all the potholes.

"If she wants to go down to the shops I have to take her. She has no peripheral vision so she can't see what in front of her feet. She has to walk with a stick to find the holes and bumps and if she misses one she could easily go over."

Concerned resident Mark Turner claims he saw children 'picking up lumps of asphalt and smashing it in the road'. Picture: Daniel MoxonConcerned resident Mark Turner claims he saw children 'picking up lumps of asphalt and smashing it in the road'. Picture: Daniel Moxon

A Norfolk County Council spokesperson, said: "There is an ongoing £201,000 project to replace all the old worn out pavements and kerbs on Links Road and Links Avenue in Hellesdon. We are carrying out this work in three stages and the second part of the project is due to be complete early next year."

The council also confirmed that they will "continue to inspect and intervene to address any defects as they arise until all the pavements are replaced".

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