Fighting The Discriminately LCC For Safe Pavements In Halsall

The story of how elderly and disabled residents of parts of Halsall face appalling risks to life and limb shames the Lancashire County Council.

Halsall Parish Council (HPC)

has been involved for some years to highlight the appalling state of the footpaths and pavements along New Cut Lane, Halsall (PR83DW) which they have in the past brought to the attention of Lancashire County Council. LCC is quite simply in breach of the Disability Discrimination Act of 1995.

Now, during a planning application consultation (2019/1257/FUL), many residents submitted comments regarding the poor state and the sloping angles which makes walking on such pavements, to people with disabilities, “challenging, dangerous, and injurious”!

Halsall Parish Council has taken a series of photos demonstrating at present, the sloping pavements on various sections along New Cut Lane, Halsall. To illustrate the situation, a spirit level and straight sections of wood baton were used.

In May 2016, the HPC Clerk emailed LCC after a series of phone conversations first commencing 15th Feb 2016 to LCC Highways reporting the poor condition and standard of the footpaths.

Sent: 25 May 2016 09:56
To: LHS Customer Service
Subject: Ref: 1423875 Cracked and sloping pavements along New Cut Lane

Dear Sirs

I spoke to one of your representatives on Monday and she promised me someone would mail me re an update as to when the above issues might be addressed?

I look forward to a prompt response.

Parish Clerk
Halsall Parish Council

Our Parish Clerk received a reply later that day
From: LHS Customer Service
Sent: 25 May 2016 14:27
To: ‘davebondhpc@aol.com’
Subject: FW: 1423875 / Cracked and sloping pavements along New Cut Lane (our ref: 23266)

Dear Mr Bond,

Thank you for your email. The officer’s notes on Report It ref: 132768 / PEM 1423875 are as follows: “Defects outside 51 and 41 have been marked for repair and will be undertaken as part of the defect repair regime. Other issues at 53, 55, 57 and 74-80 are bigger issues and will need to be addressed in the new financial year as funding is currently limited”.

However officers will further investigate the matter under PEM 1488102 and we will provide you with an update within the next 20 working days.

Kind regards,

District Lead Officer | Highways
Lancashire County Council | 01772 531559 | http://www.lancashire.gov.uk

Some weeks later our Parish Clerk received another e mail from LCC Highways, District Lead Officer
—–Original Message—–
From: LHS Customer Service
To: ‘davebondhpc@aol.com’
Sent: Wed, 15 Jun 2016 8:05
Subject: FW: 1423875 / Cracked and sloping pavements along New Cut Lane (our ref: 23266)
Dear Mr Bond

Further to my email below, officers advise that the areas of footway that meet intervention levels within the defect code of practice have been marked for repair. The footways are in backfall to accommodate the houses being lower than the road. To alter the footways would require large scale reconstruction and extensive accommodation work on private property. The footway backfall is not considered excessive and is not unusual in this type of situation.

Kind regards,

District Lead Officer | Highways
Lancashire County Council | 01772 531559 | http://www.lancashire.gov.uk

HPC writes “The e mail from the LCC District Lead Officer, states that “To alter the footways would require large scale reconstruction and extensive accommodation work on private property”. 

“Whilst HPC fully appreciates that significant investment and reconstruction work is required, we do not see why the residents of New Cut Lane should be denied the necessary repairs to allow disabled residents full access to their own street and treated as any normal pedestrian without fear of injury or avoidable obstruction!

“It has been brought to our attention that there is a legal case against LCC for injuries which occurred from one resident who as a result fell on one poorly maintained section of footpath, requiring medical treatment.

“People who are unsteady on their feet, dependant on crutches or walking frames have considerable challenges covering any distance on pavements that are uneven and undulating”.

As mentioned in the LCC (Highways) e mail dated 25th May 2016, acknowledges defects outside No’s 41, 51, 53, 55, 57, and 74 to 80. As yet, we are still awaiting for works to be conducted;
“Defects outside 51 and 41 have been marked for repair and will be undertaken as part of the defect repair regime. Other issues at 53,55,57 and 74-80 are bigger issues and will need to be addressed in the new financial year as funding is currently limited”

LCC has known the issues and yet no funding has been earmarked nor added to the new financial year funding programme, essentially, New Cut Lane has been completely forgotten about. HPC request the reason or rationale behind the decision on not conducting any remedial works that has been highlighted for almost 4 years.

It could be argued that the pavement is without sound side foundations on the resident’s garden curtilage which is the reasoning for the pavement sloping, however it is noted that since 1978, the road surface of New Cut Lane has increased in height significantly due to LCC Highways resurfacing programmes which has raised the tarmac road and footpaths by quite a considerable height.

No remedial works have ever been conducted to shore or support the pavement. This work has created another issue as resident’s driveways now slope down and away from the road thus creating significant localised surface water flooding in front and rear gardens.

It is well known to LCC Highways that road and footpath gullies are completely inadequate to dispose of surface water which creates flooding events to properties, if LCC repaired the pavements and footpath gullies, the flood risk would no doubt be dramatically reduced.

We look forward to this serious issue being addressed in the very near future.

And the elderly and disabled residents of the area no doubt look forward to walking on safe pavements. Would this discriminated mess be tolerated in the middle of Ormskirk?

2 thoughts on “Fighting The Discriminately LCC For Safe Pavements In Halsall

  1. neil campbell (@limetreevilla)

    This is yet another sad reflection on how many residents in West Lancashire pay year on year considerable sums of money via Council tax and receive zero maintenance, investment, repairs or services.
    Just yesterday, an LCC investigation crew were looking at the footpaths and no doubt they will come to the same conclusions and re write the same report as per 2016. We await their comments and latest excuses.
    Some may see this issue as a trvial matter, however one disabled couple recently sold up and moved from the home they loved directly due to this problem and two other disabled residents are essentially “trapped” as its deemed too dangerous for them to walk along their own road!
    Beggers the question why we in the forgotten zones of West Lancashire pay a penny towards Lancashire County Council’s inability to act upon issues raised before them.
    I won’t hold my breath either to the promised capital investment programme to upgrade the failing road and footpath drainage system that constantly floods this area, something that LCC has known about since 2008!
    Parish Councillor Neil Campbell
    Halsall Parish Council

    Reply
    1. westlancashirerecord Post author

      Old age and infirmity are only a hindrance to jobsworths who prefer not to bother with other peoples’ difficulties. There will always be a reason for non compliance with Equality laws, Discrimination laws, and sods’ law [sod the old and infirm!] Halsall Parish Council should campaign hard for these pavements to be improved, and being represented by LCC Cllr O’Toole who is reported to be fastidious in representing his area, so I’ve heard!

      Reply

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