Neighbours are calling for improvements to steps near their homes before someone is seriously hurt.

The steps between Oate Hill and Habrels Close in Chippenham are in dire need of repair, say residents, and the group is pressing Wiltshire Council to take action.

Neighbourhood Watch coordinator Rachael Stokes said: “One of our elderly neighbours slipped on them and landed on her shopping trolley. She bruised her side and tore the ligaments in her wrist.

“After talking to her and some other neighbours I found out that there have been accidents where people have slipped while walking.”

Mrs Stokes, 37, said she knows of elderly people who refuse to use the steps, choosing to walk along the busy London Road instead.

“The steps are all different heights, and when it’s wet they get slippery,” she said.

“There is one lady who is 89 years old and she refuses to use them because she is already unsteady on her feet.

“At night you cannot even see where you’re walking because the trees cover the street lights.”

In August Mrs Stokes, of Oate Hill, contacted ward councillor Bill Douglas, who put her in touch with a Wiltshire Council officer who came out about a month ago but she said nothing had been done since then.

A Wiltshire Council spokesman said the damage had already been repaired.

“We are planning to reduce the step height and carry out further work to ensure they are as safe as possible,” he said. The owners of the trees had been asked to cut them back from the street lights.