Chichester OAP bills council for road safety measure

Barbara Chisholm, 88, of Jubilee Road, Chichester, at the New Park Road roundabout
Barbara Chisholm, 88, of Jubilee Road, Chichester, at the New Park Road roundabout

A PENSIONER has stopped hedging her bets every time she crosses a ‘dangerous’ road on her mobility scooter.

Barbara Chisholm, 88, of Jubilee Road, Chichester, took action and cut the hedge blocking her view whenever she tried to cross New Park Road near the roundabout.

The retired chartered architect and her 65-year-old daughter Victoria Gould then billed West Sussex County Council’s highways department £40 for carrying out the work.

“People don’t realise how dangerous it is,” she said of the crossing, describing drivers as ‘far too fast’.

“The standard of driving is pretty poor,” she said, adding the height of the hedge before it was cut meant people in mobility scooters and small children could not see the traffic.

However, she also highlighted the restricted view crossing the other side of the road with two lanes of traffic, calling for the pavement to be widened and the road reduced to one lane from two.

Mrs Chisholm said she took action after being told by the highways department there was no money to make changes to the crossing and that there ‘had not been a fatality yet’.

“He said the council hasn’t got enough money to do it,” she said.

“One does take the law into one’s own hands.”

A spokesman from West Sussex County Council said the council was ‘surprised’ to learn Mrs Chisholm had cut the hedge.

“When Barbara spoke to us on the phone, we assured her that our community support team would visit the location and trim the hedge in question,” he said.

“We scheduled a date for this to take place.”

He added: “It is not something we encourage because we fear that people who cut hedges in public places do not have insurance to cover them if something goes wrong – and it is their safety that is paramount.”

Barbara was told on Tuesday she would not be paid for the work.

“They said there was no way they could pay it because they had already instructed someone to do the pruning,” she said, adding someone had agreed to come to see the crossing at its peak times.