Uneven footpath is trip hazard for Stevenage pensioner couple

Alec Hipple next to the damaged pathway

Alec Hipple next to the damaged pathway - Credit: Archant

A dangerously uneven pavement outside an elderly couple’s house has left them both needing new glasses after they tripped and fell on its cracked surface.

Alec Hipple next to the archway which has been damaged by the tree

Alec Hipple next to the archway which has been damaged by the tree - Credit: Archant

Alec Hipple and his wife Lillian first noticed the problem outside their house in Wisden Road, Stevenage, about six months ago.

The roots of a tree in the road has cracked the tarmac on the pavement, making it uneven, and is slowly destroying an arch at the entrance to their garden.

Alec, 76, said: “We’ve tripped up a couple of times. Both my wife and I have had to get new pairs of glasses because we’ve fallen and smashed them. It wasn’t so bad for me because I was due to have a new pair but my wife wasn’t so it’s cost us money we shouldn’t need to spend.

“The path’s dangerous but it feels like I’m banging my head against a brick wall because nobody wants to do anything about it.”

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After contacting both Herts County Council and Stevenage Borough Council Alec discovered that the tree belongs to the borough council while the responsibilty for the path’s maintenance falls upon the county council’s highways contractor Ringway.

“It’s really dangerous, especially when the path’s covered in leaves and you can’t see where the cracks are,” he said. As well as breaking our glasses we’ve had a few near misses and something needs to be done about it before someone is badly injured.”

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A spokesman for the borough council said: “We have been talking to the people who live in the immediate area, and agreed with them that we will remove the trees. We’ll complete this within the next few months.

“In the meantime, highways have made the footpath level, and when we’ve removed the trees they’ll do some more permanent work to repair the path.”

A spokesman for Ringway confirmed they are aware of the problem and are working with the council to find a permanent solution.

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