Elderly woman waits five hours for ambulance after falling on uneven pavement in Saffron Walden
PUBLISHED: 09:07 31 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:23 31 May 2018
Concerns have been raised about the state of the pavement on the High Street in Saffron Walden after 10 people are said to have fallen on uneven and unsecured paving slabs since Christmas, including an 84-year-old woman who fell and waited five hours for an ambulance.
Last Thursday (May 22), a woman fell over a loose paving slab near Clarks shoe shop and suffered a head and wrist injury. A nurse who was passing by waited with her for an ambulance to arrive after being instructed not to move her in case there were underlying injuries.
Manager of the Clarks store, Keir Jordan, who waited with the woman, said: “There have been at least 10 falls since Christmas and at least four of them have been quite serious falls. One of them was outside Clarks, as they were crossing the road. It’s where the pavement narrows and you can’t avoid the uneven parts.
“You can see where the council has marked where the pavements need fixing. Before Christmas, there was a lady who fell and bit her lip so hard she had a half inch gash in her lip and then after Christmas a woman fell and she was trapped at home for six weeks. She hurt her back and had six weeks worth of physio.”
Mike Hibbs, a Saffron Walden town councillor, said: “If you don’t fix the issue with the pavement, there is a bigger cost to the NHS and other services when people are injured.
“It’s an unacceptable situation in terms of the human cost.
“The problem comes from the trees - a few years ago they stopped pollarding them. It should be a priority. But we can’t get rid of the trees so this is a maintenance issue.”
An Essex Highways spokesman said: “We are very sorry to hear that this lady has fallen over on a pavement and injured herself and we wish her well with her recovery.
“There are a number of relatively small defects on the pavement on this stretch of the High Street, which is checked at least every month on foot by our Highways inspector. If any of the defects get worse and are considered a significant hazard, then they will be reported for urgent repair.
“With limited funds to spend on our thousands of miles of roads and pavements, we must repair the worst defects first, across the county.”
Keir said the elderly woman was treated in hospital for her head injury and is recovering well.