Pensioner urges Devon County Council to take action after wife's fall in Barnstaple
A MAN whose wife suffered facial injuries after falling over twice in Barnstaple has urged a council to improve the state of pavements in the town.
Clifford Arthurs' 85-year-old wife Christine suffered a broken nose, cuts, bruises and a broken denture plate when she tripped on a raised manhole cover outside Prezzo in the High Street in January.
Less than a week later Mrs Arthurs caught her foot in a groove in the pavement near the hoardings on Boutport Street which left her bleeding from her face and mouth.
Clifford said: "The first time she fell she had to be taken to hospital by ambulance.
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"She tripped on some bricks around a raised manhole cover which were so loose you could have picked them up and taken them away.
"She was taken to hospital again and it took seven hours to stop the bleeding because she takes blood-thinning drugs.
"Both incidents were very traumatic for us."
Clifford took these graphic photos of his wife's injuries to show officials at Devon County Council, who are responsible for highways, in the hope it would shock them into improving the pavements.
He said: "I reported both incidents to the Civic Centre in Barnstaple and even drove down to County Hall in Exeter to show officers these photos.
"I was told that no one was available to see me.
"Their behaviour was unbelievable.
"These trip hazards are a massive risk to the public, particularly elderly people but the council don't seem to want to do anything about it."
But Devon County Council spokesman Mike Bomford said the authority is committed to dealing with any potential trip hazards.
He said: "We're very sorry to hear of Mrs Arthurs' injury.
"We always take matters such as this very seriously and are grateful for the public's help in helping us identify problems and potential trip hazards.
"All the urban retail areas in Barnstaple are checked on a monthly basis during the winter and on a fortnightly basis during the summer and any safety defects found are repaired.
"We also respond to complaints from the public, and indeed the pavement on the High Street was repaired as quickly as possible after Mr Arthurs reported the fault to us.
"We regret our usual customer service has fallen short on this occasion and Mr and Mrs Arthurs have waited longer than is customary for a response from us."