Mon. Jun 17th, 2024
alert-–-is-this-uk’s-most-perilous-pavement?-fury-over-cracked-and-broken-london-street-that-caused-state-of-injuries…-as-city-coffers-fund-more-ulez-camerasAlert – Is this UK’s most perilous pavement? Fury over cracked and broken London street that caused state of injuries… as city coffers fund more ULEZ cameras

Furious neighbours have blasted a London council for refusing to fix a hazardous footpath which has seen residents young and old breaking bones in painful falls.  

Locals living along Butler Avenue, in Harrow, north-west London, have dubbed the leafy suburb’s perilous pavement a ‘dangerous’ nightmare. 

Photos of the wonky walkway show a patchwork of various concretes and tarmacs, jutting up at different levels in the street, where homes can fetch for £700,000.

Elderly locals are terrified of the treacherous path with one 89-year-old, who broke her wrist tripping on the route, now refusing to use it, dodging traffic by walking down the middle of the road instead. 

Another pensioner in her 80s relies on a walking stick or wheelchair to get around, and is now so terrified she’ll trip over she rarely leaves her home.

Locals living along Butler Avenue, in Harrow, north-west London, have the perilous pavement a ‘dangerous’ nightmare. Mike Williamson is spearheading the campaign to get the council to fix the deadly footpath and is desperately demanding civic chiefs do one ‘proper job’

Photos of the wonky walkway show a patchwork of various concretes and tarmacs, jutting up at different levels in the street, where homes can fetch for £700,000 

Rhoda Agerbak (pictured with her dog Chai), a counsellor who has lived in Butler Avenue since 2012, said she scooters along the road and the pavement makes it difficult

Even the young are affected – a woman in her 20s broke her ankle on protruding tree stump and reportedly took the council to court.

Neighbours say they have complained about the rutted route for decades but claim their pleas to completely overhaul it have fallen on deaf ears at Harrow Council. 

Furious locals blasted the council doing patch repairs, tarmacking tiny sections of paving instead of ripping it up and fixing the entire walkway.

Mike Williamson is spearheading the campaign to get the council to fix the deadly footpath and is desperately demanding civic chiefs do one ‘proper job’.

Like others, he complained the neighbouring streets have been perfectly paved but residents on Butler Avenue are still forced to endure its shoddy walkway.

Mr Williamson, who has lived in the street for 30 years managed to get 70 signatures for the petition, and there are just 40 homes on the street.

He delivered it to the council on September 29 but has not heard anything back beyond a thanks and now fears Harrow is ignoring the fears of Butler Avenue locals.

‘The council are not responding to us, which we think is a pretty poor show. This is a council whose slogan is something to do with ‘putting the community first’,’ the former business consultant lamented. 

‘The other roads around here look pretty good, but these are pretty bad. It’s a lot better over there [on the parallel Vaughan Road].

‘People are walking in the road and avoiding the pavement.

‘We’re not asking for Yorkshire stone slabs, like in Westminster. Just make it like that [other] road.

‘When you do a job do it properly, and don’t just stick tarmac down. It’s short-termism, it’s too much short-termism.’

Many of Butler Avenue residents have lived in the road for decades, Mr Williamson added, with some now in the 80s who are terrified they will suffer serious injuries by tripping over the perilous pavement. 

Hazel Gurnhill, 89, who has been living in Butler Avenue since 1957, now refuses to use the path after breaking her wrist while walking on it in 2018.

Five-years later, Mrs Gurnhill still suffers with pain due to trapped nerves since the incident and lives with constant pins-and-needles sensations in her wrist.

Elderly locals are terrified of the treacherous path with one 89-year-old, who broke her wrist tripping on the route, now refusing to use it, dodging traffic by walking down the middle of the road instead

A woman in her 20s broke her ankle on protruding tree stump and reportedly took the council to court

An aerial view of the perilous Butler Avenue in in Harrow, north-west London

Furious locals blasted the council doing patch repairs, tarmacking tiny sections of paving instead of ripping it up and fixing the entire walkway

‘I didn’t complain to the council when it happened, but it’s an ongoing problem. Where the roots of the trees are coming through the pavement, they aren’t level,’ she said.

Bipin, a 77-year-old who would not give his full name, said his daughter-in-law broke her ankle on the Butler Avenue pavement when she was only in her mid-twenties.

Describing his daughter in law’s fall in around 2007 he said: ‘It was one of the trees, it was cut and they had the stump left.

‘They didn’t really clear it, it still a lot there, and in the winter it was very dark, you couldn’t see it was there.

‘She got a fracture, she’s still suffering. Unfortunately it injured her quite a bit, it’s a problem that’s still happening here.’

Doctors reportedly told his daughter-in-law the only option was an ankle replacement to cure the pain.

The pensioner, who lives in Butler Road which leads onto Butler Avenue, said it is affecting disabled and elderly people in the area.

‘We talk about disabled people, people with blindness or semi-blindness, they’re living here,’ he told . 

‘I think seriously they could have a problem. I don’t understand, they have done all the other pavements.

‘They haven’t [repaired] it in years, and I’ve been living here a long time.’

Rhoda Agerbak, a counsellor who has lived in Butler Avenue since 2012, said she scooters along the road and the pavement makes it difficult.

She said: ‘I haven’t personally fallen – sometimes when I’m walking the dog I’m anxious that I’m going to trip, if she’s pulling or it’s slippery.

‘The fact that they don’t clear the leaves as much as they used to makes it more slippery. It also doesn’t look very nice.

‘They do the other roads, it’s really nice over there, so why don’t they do it here?’

Mike Williamson delivered a petition to the council on September 29 but has not heard anything back beyond a thanks and now fears Harrow is ignoring fears of Butler Avenue locals

The cracked and damaged pavement on Butler Avenue in Harrow, north London

Alastair Kelly, 47, has been living in the street for 10 years with his mother-in-law, Premlata Kharbanda, 80, who visits occasionally.

Kharbanda is partially sighted, struggles with her mobility and used and wheelchair. But because the paths along Butler Avenue are uneven, Alastair fears for his mother-in-law’s safety.

He said: ‘I’ve been here the better part of 10 years, and haven’t seen any noticeable improvements to the paths.

‘It’s constantly precarious. My mother-in-law has never had a fall but has caught her feet a few times. It’s a street where people have been living for a long time and there are a lot of elderly people living here. It does impact them to getting from A-to-B.

‘My mother-in-law struggles to go out unless there is somebody with her. She will walk with a stick and is blind in her left eye, and has lost some peripheral vision. It is very difficult for her.’

Meanwhile, Wendy Furniss, 69, who has been living on Butler Avenue for 35 years and fell over some uneven paving stones while walking along the path down from her house in 2016.

She said: ‘My sandal had caught the edge of one of the paving stones and I fell badly. I had grazes on both hands and knees. I didn’t go to the hospital because there happened to be a nurse at my house at the time so she helped me.

‘It was a really unpleasant fall. I was walking fast and not really looking at my feet, but the paving stones were uneven. I’m a long-standing resident here so I have seen the paths deteriorate. They have just gradually got worse.’

Harrow Council told it was ‘aware of the concerns’ raised over Butler Avenue and said it will be ‘reviewing’ the situation.  

A spokesman added: ‘We are currently undergoing a complete refurbishment of 60 roads and footways as part of our £10milion resurfacing programme. 

‘The current condition survey for 2023/24 has now been completed and this will be reviewed for us to determine our next resurfacing programmes.

‘All our roads and footways are routinely inspected against a criteria which informs us of any necessary repairs required.

‘All reported defects to our footways should be reported via our website which are then inspected, and repairs carried out accordingly.’

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