Friday, December 21, 2012

Hell on Wheels

My brother, Adrian, is St Blaise Town Council's vice-chairman in Cornwall. He is well-known as an indefatigable fighter for his constituents' rights - which may explain the caption to this picture of him (below).

I think he could also venture a reasonable double for Iain M. Banks!

"Hell on Wheels"

Here is the article explaining the background from 'This Is Cornwall'.

A DISABLED councillor is lobbying for an end to mobility mayhem in St Blazey. St Blaise Town Council's vice-chairman Adrian Seel has been using an electric scooter for a few months prior to a hip replacement operation. He said due to the lack of dropped kerbs in the right places, getting around could be frustrating.

"Since seeing me in the scooter, a lot of people have approached me saying they've had problems in the town," he said. "We must do something about this."

Mr Seel said the existing dropped kerbs were designed with prams in mind, before mobility scooters were even invented.

"In some places, due to the angle or position of the drop, you have to apply so much power you end up flying into the wall once you're up the kerb," he said, "so you're forced to drive along in the road, which is far from ideal and quite dangerous."

He said scooters had a ground clearance of about 2in, but in some parts of St Blazey the pavements were as high as 4in, meaning the scooter would probably topple over after the fall.

"There are some pavements in St Blazey that aren't even wide enough for a mobility scooter or pram to be pushed along comfortably," he said, "and some areas have no dropped kerbs at all."

St Blaise Town Council is asking the townsfolk to call 01726 816595 and tell it about the most inaccessible areas. Mr Seel said a list would be presented to Cornwall Council's highways department.

A Cornwall Council spokesman said: "We haven't received any requests regarding the pavements in St Blazey. "The footways are inspected on a regular basis and any safety defects are rectified as per the council's highway maintenance plan.

"Due to budgetary pressures, we can only consider putting in drop kerbs when we need to replace and resurface the footways, or when capital funding is made available to carry out a specific project."