Anger as Chippenham pensioner is injured in pavement fall

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Coun Bill Douglas and Coun Mary Fallon inspect the area of pavement where the pensioner fell Coun Bill Douglas and Coun Mary Fallon inspect the area of pavement where the pensioner fell

The daughter of a pensioner knocked unconscious after she tripped on one of Chippenham’s paving slabs has challenged council officials to see for themselves the extent of her injuries.

The 78-year-old woman from Chippenham fell on a wobbly stone outside Superdrug on High Street.

She said she felt like she had been used as a punchbag after she landed on her face in the incident on Sunday, February 16, at about 2.40pm.

Her daughter Pauline Ward said: “She was completely knocked unconscious. She didn’t come around until the paramedics were there.

“They (the council) should come and see my mum’s injuries and see how it affects people. As a result of the council not maintaining its property we’ve got to pick up the pieces and try to put somebody’s confidence back together. You shouldn’t have to be in fear of tripping up when you go shopping.

“It’s about time senior management got off their ivory towers and did something about it. Somebody has to be taking accountability. I don’t want anyone else to get hurt.

“They’re going to be far more in debt through paying claims than in getting a workman out.”

Mrs Ward said she will make a claim to Wiltshire Council, but when she rang the 0300 number to ask for a claim form, she said she was met with “bureaucracy beyond belief”.

“They have no intention of making it easy,” she said.

Her mother, who does not want to be named, suffered cuts to the knee and elbow, bruising all over her body and a swollen upper lip and nose.

She said: “I’m feeling very fragile, traumatised I suppose. I feel like I’ve been used as a punchbag.

She said she would like to thank the Good Samaritans who came to her aid while waiting for the ambulance, which took her to the Royal United Hospital in Bath.

“I don’t know who they were but they were wonderful, a man and a lady. They got a chair for me, I don’t know where from.”

Councillor Bill Douglas, who would like to hear from the couple on 07824 422613, said: “I went to look on Thursday evening. I stood on the flagstone and it rocked backwards and forwards. It was one of the ones on our list that hasn’t been done.

“The town council are furious about this.”

Chippenham Town Council made a formal request in January, after a long list of injuries, that Wiltshire Council as the highways authority undertake an urgent review of Chippenham’s pavements.

The campaign was prompted by 66-year-old Margaret Waters who was still drinking through a straw four weeks after tripping on a loose stone outside the Britannia Building Society in the Market Place in October last year, dislodging her teeth. She had to have a brace fitted and have eight stitches between her top lip and nose.

Coun Mary Fallon, who was due to meet Wiltshire Council area engineer Paul Bollen to relay the views of Chippenham residents who have experienced accidents, said: “I am disappointed that, having witnessed someone injured last October, we are now nearly in March still waiting for a completed job.”

A spokesman for Wiltshire Council said: “We are sorry to hear of this fall and wish her a speedy recovery. We have been working with local councillors in the area and have recently been re-bedding and replacing slabs along the High Street.

“If people wish to report any highway issues they can do so using the MyWilts app or by calling 0300 456 0105.”

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