‘Four accidents a week on Chichester’s streets’

Ambulance crews attend a woman who fell on Tuesday, May 16, in Northgate, in the same place as a 91-year-old broke her wrist last month
Ambulance crews attend a woman who fell on Tuesday, May 16, in Northgate, in the same place as a 91-year-old broke her wrist last month

Four accidents are now happening every week on the streets of Chichester, a councillor says.

Speaking at Chichester District Council’s annual meeting on Tuesday, cllr Richard Plowman called the state of the city’s pavements ‘shocking’ after a spate of falls.

His words came on the same day as a woman fell in Northgate, said to be exactly the same place as a 91-year-old broke her arm last month.

The ambulance service confirmed crews attended the top of North Street, at around midday and treated a woman who had suffered a head injury after a fall, on the pavement outside the Priory Row development currently being constructed.

The woman was assessed and treated at the scene before being taken to St Richard’s Hospital, an ambulance spokesman said.

Speaking shortly after at the meeting, cllr Plowman said: “Currently they are running at four accidents a week on the streets. “I know it’s responsibility of West Sussex County Council, but it will affect and it is affecting the whole of Chichester.

“We had a lady, aged 91, who broke her wrist. We had another lady who broke her knees and I think the pressure on the NHS would be reduced if we actually did something about the pavements.

“I met one gentleman who said ‘Chichester is the only place I need to use a stick because of the state of the pavements’. I think it’s shocking and something needs to be done.”

Leader Tony Dignum agreed, describing the pavement issue as a ‘menace’, and said it would be raised at next month’s cabinet meeting where the Southern Gateway and Chichester Vision projects are set to be discussed.

Cllr Dignum said: “I am glad we now have three county councillors who can now raise these issues again and again and again until something is done.”

Cllr Simon Oakley said it was important not to spend vast amounts of public money on something without first proving it was the cause.

Cllr Bob Hayes, a wheelchair user, said other wheelchair users avoided Chichester because of the cobbles and state of the pavements.

West Sussex County Council says it carries out monthly inspections of Chichester’s shopping area, and the one defect found at the spot in Northgate was repaired in April.

A spokesman said last month: “We are investing in Chichester pavements this year as part of our Even Better Pavements programme to improve and enhance footpaths in the area.”

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