Wheelchair user falls into middle of road outside Letchworth railway station after hitting pothole

The road surface outside Letchworth railway station where the wheelchair overturned, pictured after

The road surface outside Letchworth railway station where the wheelchair overturned, pictured after the subsequent temporary repairs by Network Rail. Picture: Tom Roberts - Credit: Archant

A wheelchair user fell into the middle of the road outside Letchworth railway station after a pothole caused her to overturn and end up on the ground.

The woman was left lying immobile in the road outside the entrance to the car park in Station Place after her wheelchair tipped over while she was crossing the street.

A fellow rail passenger picked her chair up and lifted her back into it, and Network Rail – which owns the land – has since made temporary repairs to the road.

Tom Roberts, who came to the woman’s aid, told the Comet she had “ended up flat on her back in the middle of the road unable to move”.

He said: “The cause was a deep set of potholes on the supposedly safe route into the station. I reported it to the station – they need to fix it as soon as possible, otherwise more people might get hurt.”

When contacted by the Comet, Great Northern said that the issue was not a pothole but a fault at the crossing point, and asserted that the woman had been saved from falling out of her chair by a member of the public – a version of events flatly denied by Tom.

He said: “She was lying on the ground in the middle of the road and her wheelchair had tipped over. I had to pick her chair up and physically lift her back into it.

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“It depends on your definition of potholes but it’s a dangerous surface clearly and it should not be able to happen. Their response seems like they are utterly unconcerned but it left the lady quite shaken.”

The incident happened on Thursday, June 29. By the following Wednesday the holes in the road had been filled in, and permanent repairs are set to be made this weekend.

A Network Rail spokeswoman said: “This is clearly a very unfortunate incident and we would like to express our sympathy to the persons involved.

“After being advised of the problem by Great Northern, we carried out a temporary repair to the road as soon as we could and will carry out further work on Saturday, July 15.”

She added that anyone with concerns about Network Rail property should call their helpline on 03457 11 41 41.

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