Injured OAP slams paths after fall

Ian Leslie's bruised hand.
Ian Leslie's bruised hand.
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A pensioner who was injured after tripping over a paving slab in a north Northumberland town has criticised the state of its footpaths.

Grandfather-of-one Ian Leslie hurt his knee, hands and head when he fell in the centre of Alnwick.

The incident happened last month on Narrowgate, leaving him with swelling and bruising.

Now the 70-year-old from Swarland has hit out at the condition of the town’s uneven and loose paving stones and is calling for action.

“I caught my toe and I went flying,” he said.

“I broke the skin on my left knee, I have bruising on my hands, especially my right hand, and I scraped my head.

“My concern is that the pavements are like this and have been for some time.

“I know Alnwick well and I know that the pavements are in this state, but you can still get caught out.”

He added: “One of the problems is wagons park on the kerbs to make deliveries and that needs addressing.

“I have a son who lives in Italy and there are limits on the weight of wagons in small towns, helping to preserve the condition of the footpaths.”

Mr Leslie was also critical of Northumberland County Council. He said that after the fall, he reported the incident at the authority’s Allerburn Lea office, but nobody has got back to him.

Alnwick town and county councillor Gordon Castle said that improving the pavements in the town centre was a high priority for him and that Mr Leslie was right to be critical about the footpaths.

He said that a photographic record of defected slabs has been taken and work has started on a repair programme.

A stretch along Bondgate Without has been fixed, but Coun Castle wants a higher-quality job in the town centre.

He said: “It is my intention that the areas in the town centre will be done over the next year, but I am looking to see an improvement in the standard. We may need to get some specialist assistance to get this done properly.”

He added that much of the problem arises from the ‘inconsiderate parking’ of heavy vehicles on pavements while unloading.

A county council spokeswoman said: “The pavement is to be repaired and the highways inspector is going to contact Mr Leslie to explain this.”