Letchworth multiple sclerosis campaigner recalls horror crossing incident

PUBLISHED: 12:07 10 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:07 10 July 2020

46-year-old Ruth Green fell from her mobility scooter attempting to cross Avenue One in Letchworth. Picture: Ruth Green

46-year-old Ruth Green fell from her mobility scooter attempting to cross Avenue One in Letchworth. Picture: Ruth Green

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A woman from Letchworth living with multiple sclerosis has spoken out against the town’s “dangerous” pedestrian crossings, after a traumatic fall left her needing hospital treatment.

Ruth has called for a pedestrian crossing on Avenue One for six years. Picture: GoogleRuth has called for a pedestrian crossing on Avenue One for six years. Picture: Google

Ruth Green, 46, has been a Letchworth resident for the last 15 years, and lives with multiple sclerosis – a condition affecting the brain and spinal cord which hampers her ability to walk and talk freely.

Recalling the traumatic incident two weeksa go, Ruth said: “I’m not able to walk at the moment so I use my mobility scooter to go shopping, and to travel to the MS therapy centre in Campus Five every week for physiotherapy.

“Getting to the centre from my home requires me to cross the busy Avenue One which – without any proper pedestrian crossing in place – I normally do at the roundabout near to Aldi.

“The problem with crossing here is that it’s very difficult to see fast approaching cars, and it’s a very daunting for someone like me on a scooter. I sometimes feel like I’m playing Russian roulette with my life.”

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With this in mind, two weeks ago Ruth decided to take another route to the town centre, crossing Avenue One near the bottom of the road, by the VW car dealer – which she thought would make for a safer passage.

“Unfortunately I encountered a dropped kerb that was not level with the road, and as a consequence it caused my mobility scooter to topple over and me to fall off it.

“I landed heavily, head first, and suffered massive trauma to my face and teeth. I was taken via ambulance to Lister Hospital to be cleaned up and checked out.

“As you can imagine, it was a big shock for me and very painful, and I still have bruising and a chipped tooth two weeks after the incident.”

Ruth says that as a mobility scooter user, she finds it “very dangerous getting around” with unsafe dropped kerbs and raised tree roots “making life very difficult.”

Earlier this year, two pedestrian crossings were introduced on Letchworth’s Pixmore Avenue following a two-year battle to make the road safer for pedestrians. Ruth says she has been campaigning for a proper pedestrian crossing on Avenue One for at least six years. “Does someone have to die or get seriously injured before something is done?” she said.

A Hertfordshire County Council spokesperson said: “We are currently exploring the details of this particular incident and will be looking into whether there are additional measures that can be put into place to prevent a similar incident in the future.


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