Pavement trip leaves Chippenham OAP black and blue

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Marlene Pearce just after she tripped and fell Marlene Pearce just after she tripped and fell

A pensioner is warning of the dangers of raised drain covers in Chippenham after a fall in Orchard Road left her looking like she had been in a fight.

Marlene Pearce, 77, got a black eye after tripping on the pavement at the beginning of February.

She said: “I caught my foot in the manhole and went flying. I really couldn’t get over it, I was so black and blue.

“All the way down that footpath there’s manhole trouble, they’re sticking up above the street. Someone else is going to fall.”

Her son Dean Halliwell said: “She had a great big fat lip, like she’d been beaten up, not nice for a 77-year-old.”

Mrs Pearce, who lives in Orchard Crescent and worked at MoD Corsham before retiring, said: “I can’t wear contact lenses anymore. My left eye is still painful.”

A Wiltshire Council spokesperson said: “We were sorry to hear of this accident. We are working with Wessex Water and will make sure any repair work required is done as quickly as possible.”

Last month, after demands from Chippenham Town Council, Wiltshire Council carried out temporary repairs on the town centre’s cracked and wobbly paving slabs.

They intend to do more permanent work when the weather improves.

At Chippenham Area Board meeting last Monday, people were asked to prioritise the issues that mattered to them. Out of ten choices, most picked road maintenance.

Austen Espeut, who runs Twitter feed @ChippenhamNow, said: “There is a lack of quality control, outside Wilko’s and in St Mary’s Street.

“I think it’s bad that we can’t safely walk down our High Street, and some of this is down to the utility companies not doing their job.”

Another member of the public described Sutton Benger as a slalom because its roads were so badly maintained. Councillors were told that roads maintenance was outside of the area board’s remit. They then voted for three priorities to target over the next two years.

These were: child poverty, community safety and making greater use of green spaces including the river.

A Wessex Water spokesman said: “We have arranged for a crew to go out and investigate today to see if they belong to us and see if the covers are raised.”

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