Bruised pensioner begs for path repairs

BRUISED and in pain, pensioner Julie Lewenz claims she has had insult added to injury, after council officials refused to repair the pavement where she tripped over.

By Richard Cornwell

BRUISED and in pain, pensioner Julie Lewenz claims she has had insult added to injury, after council officials refused to repair the pavement where she tripped over.

"I could not believe it – I don't want money, I don't want compensation," said Mrs Lewenz, of Mill Lane, Felixstowe.

"All I want is to make sure that someone else does not fall over in the same place and suffers the same injuries as me. It could easily happen again any time."

Mrs Lewenz, 60, fell as she walked on the path just a few yards from her home.

Her injuries included a cut mouth, swollen and bruised nose, pulled muscle in her shoulder, and bruising to her leg. Her glasses were also broken.

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She said: "It all happened so quickly that I couldn't do anything to stop myself. I just caught my toe and tripped on this raised and uneven piece of path and fell very heavily."

She said council workmen nearby came to help her, and the county official who inspected the path was sympathetic.

"You can clearly see where I tripped. I just cannot believe they will not repair it. It's stupid," she said.

"I am not interested in money – I don't want to sue them. All I am interested in is knowing the path is repaired, smooth and safe and that neither I or anyone else will fall there again."

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council expressed sympathy for Mrs Lewenz and said it was doing its best to keep all its footpaths in a good and manageable condition.

Policy decrees that where the unevenness causes a drop of less than 20mm in a path, it will not be repaired at that stage - as the cost of sending maintenance teams to deal with the many areas where this would apply cannot not be justified.

"If there has been a concentration of incidents in one spot we would look at it but otherwise it would be very expensive to repair every path that was below the 20mm threshold," Mrs Lewenz said.

The council spokeswoman said the path in Mill Lane is monitored regularly, and will routinely be maintained.

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What do you think? Are our paths up to standard? Should all faults be repaired? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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