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Disabled residents welcome Langport road and pavement revamp

By Western Gazette - South Somerset  |  Posted: February 21, 2013

Nan Eaves

Rough conditions: Nan Eaves and other members of the Ridgway Hall Disabled Group have welcomed plans to improve the pavements and road surfacing on Bow Street in Langport, which will help disabled residents to access town centre shops

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Major improvements for roads and pavements in Langport have been welcomed by disabled residents and town councillors.

Narrow Bow Street, the main road through the town, will be at the centre of a scheme that is currently being designed by Somerset County Council.

Nan Eaves, chairman of the Ridgway Hall Disabled Group, said plans to realign the pavements, slightly widen Bow Street and put in more drop kerbs were long overdue.

She said the condition of the pavements meant that wheelchairs users cannot use the left side of the road coming out of the town centre – meaning they cannot access a number of shops.

Mrs Eaves said: “I’m in a wheelchair myself and I know how hairy it can get along Bow Street. The pavements are very rough and it throws you one way or another.

“The entrances to the houses are all different levels and it’s very rough going across the pedestrian crossing.

“It’s very uncomfortable and if you were in some pain it would be agony to go down there in a wheelchair.

“We can’t access the shops on the left-hand side – I have to wait to catch the eye of shopkeepers to help me in.

“It is awful, the cars have to stop for me. The pavements all want realigning, it’s great to hear that they have found some money to do some work on the road.”

Mrs Eaves said wheelchair users often end up crashing into shop stalls and walls along the path.

She added it is also difficult for people with other disabilities, with crutches rather than wheelchairs, to use the pavements and crossing.

The suggested plans were welcomed by Langport Town Council at a meeting earlier this month.

Town clerk Robin Williams reported that resurfacing and drainage work on Bow Street is scheduled for between July and September this year.

He said the pavements on the Town Hall side of the road would hopefully be widened.

However, the details of the scheme are still being drawn up and have not yet been decided.

There are also issues with the drainage system along Bow Street, where water often collects during heavy rain, causing misery for residents.

Chairman Chris Osborne said: “There will be a bit of disruption while the work is carried out but it has got to be done.

“It is short-term worry for long term gain. These little things should make the town better.”

A Somerset County Council spokesperson said: “Footway and drainage improvements are proposed for the new financial year and the process of designing the scheme has just started. The local town council will continue to be consulted prior to works commencing.”

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