Pensioner, 88, breaks arm at new Giles Circus site

IPSWICH: A pensioner is today recovering in hospital after tripping and breaking her arm at a newly re-opened Ipswich landmark.

Violet Simmonds, 88, also sustained head injuries in the fall at Giles Circus on Friday morning. She was taken by ambulance to Ipswich Hospital for treatment.

Her son, David Simmonds, said yesterday: “She is still in hospital, she was quite badly injured and is still very shaken up by it.”

Mrs Simmonds, of Tyrone Close, Ipswich, is the latest in a long line of victims who have been injured after falling over the new low-rise kerbs at the Princes Road and Queen Street junction in the town centre – ceremoniously re-opened last week.

The paving was laid around the newly-relocated Giles statue, known as Grandma, and the design is supposed to appeal to tourists and attract shoppers to the town.

However, it has posed a problem for pedestrians ever since the first stones were laid in August, according to staff at The Chelsea Building Society, who claim shoppers do not even realise there is a step there.

Assistant manager Jayne Button has appealed for the council to reconsider the design and she said: “We have attended to three people who have fallen over the kerb stones and we have seen the staff from Ladbroke’s helping several others.

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“At first, they were just stumbling but then it got more serious as people starting hurting themselves.

“That is what prompted me to contact the highways department and from the response we got, it is not only us who have complained.”

Mrs Button added: “I have tripped myself, it is not obvious there is a kerb there because there is so little to differentiate between the road and the pavement.

“It is such a small step and there is no variation in the colour.”

A spokesman for Ipswich Borough Council, said: “We are very sorry to hear about this accident and we hope the lady is much better very soon.

“We constructed the kerb stones after talking to disability groups and as with any new scheme we would ask particularly vulnerable people to take extra care.”

n What do you think of the new area and do you think the kerbstones are dangerous? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or send us an e-mail to