WATCH: ‘I’m fed up!’ Mum in wheelchair with broken leg vents fury at pavement potholes
- Credit: Archant
A mum with a broken leg has shot a video diary of her trying to navigate potholed footpaths in a wheelchair - to show how difficult life is for disabled people.
Personal trainer Kelly Mepham said she felt "vulnerable" after just 30mins of trying to get around some of Haverhill's main roads.
The videos show her getting constantly trapped in "stupidly maintained pavements", with a furious Kelly declaring by the end: "Thirty minutes of trying to be disabled - and I'm fed up!
"I shall be writing to those above who can do something."
In some places she said the holes were "so bad I nearly fell out of my chair", adding that: "I've had so many people message me who are disabled and they just can't go out. It's really sad."
You may also want to watch:
Suffolk Highways, which is responsible for maintaining the county's roads and footpaths, said it would send a worker out to look at the problems.
However Kelly also said inconsiderate drivers parking over dropped kerbs and wheelie bins left on pavements also posed hazards.
- 1 Tankers on their way to Suffolk as the government unveils action plan
- 2 More Suffolk petrol stations closed as PM plans action
- 3 The 72 postcode areas where Covid infection rates are rising
- 4 Stu says: Five observations following Ipswich's 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday
- 5 Lorry drivers being offered up to £60,000 and other bonuses as shortage bites
- 6 Explained: What is causing the long queues at petrol stations?
- 7 Lorry overturns after crashing into office building - warning over delays
- 8 Seven spots to visit on the Suffolk Coast this autumn
- 9 Blaze spreads from classic car to bungalow next door
- 10 'Poor' infection control at care home sees used Covid test swab left in pile of clean PPE
After being lent a wheelchair by a friend, Kelly - who was previously using crutches - said: "I genuinely thought, naively, that once the wheelchair came I'd be able to go out and about."
On more recently surfaced roads, she said it was easy to get about - but once she went into Arrendene Road while walking the dog with her children, she hit trouble.
Chalkstone Way and Duddery Hill were two other badly affected areas.
"As soon as I got into the old part of town, it was very challenging," she said.
"Most places were terrible - really, really bad. There were great big holes in parts.
"When I tried to steer myself, every now and then I would veer off the road."
Her daughter had to manoeuvre her and push the wheelchair on occasions - adding that permanently disabled people would not always be able to rely on friends or relatives.
Of the obstacles she also encountered, Kelly said: "Quite frequently, the dropped kerbs that were safe to use had cars parked across them - so you couldn't use them.
"You'd have to be on the road for a considerable amount of time.
"People had left their wheelie bins on the path or the bin men had dumped them in silly places.
"I don't think they do it maliciously, but they don't think."
She said using a wheelchair around Haverhill had been a "real eye opener", adding: "As a pedestrian you don't think about how disabled people get about.
"If I had one word to sum up how I felt, it was vulnerable.
"I'm a really confident person and spend my whole life outdoors - and I'm always promoting being outdoors in the fresh air.
"But I felt so on edge, I didn't feel safe."
A spokesman for Suffolk Highways said: "Over the last few months, several repairs have been completed in Haverhill, however there have been no reports received for footpath defects at these locations.
"We will arrange for one of our team to inspect the footpaths along Arrendene Road, Chalkstone Way and Duddery Hill.
"Should we find defects that require repair against our published intervention criteria, we will ensure these are carried out.
"We continue to encourage all to report highway defects and issues via the online reporting tool at highwaysreporting.suffolk.gov.uk
"Alternatively if the matter is urgent, please call 0345 606 6171."