Chichester shopkeeper complains about ‘dangerous’ pavement

A wheelchair wheel stuck outside the Messam's shop in East Street
A wheelchair wheel stuck outside the Messam's shop in East Street

WHEELCHAIR and pushchair wheels have been falling into such a large pavement crack it is risking serious injury, a shopkeeper has claimed.

Lesley Messam, of David Messam hardware shop, in East Street, Chichester, said she was continually having to help people up who had fallen over outside her shop.

“It’s a huge gap. It’s just the right size for a wheel to go through. Once it’s down there it doesn’t move, it’s stuck,” she said.

She had photographs of people who had either been pushing a wheelchair or pushchair along the pavement and had a wheel get stuck.

On one occasion, a rushing mum fell over when a pushchair’s wheel got wedged and the impact threw her to the ground.

“It’s ongoing and it’s dangerous,” said Mrs Messam.

She said she wanted to draw people’s attention to it and also she said no one at West Sussex County Council seemed to be taking the problem seriously.

“It’s a huge gap. It’s just the right size for a wheel to go through. Once it’s down there it doesn’t move, it’s stuck.”

She said she warned the county council someone might try to sue them if the problem was not sorted quickly.

“It doesn’t really affect me. Only the fact that when we see it we go rushing out to help them

“We’re sick to death of it. We’re sick of having to go out there and pick people up because the council can’t be bothered to something about it.”

Mrs Messam said the issue with the pavement had been going on for quite some time, but the crack previously used to be covered by the shop’s A-board.

She said it could be very ‘distressing’ to see people falling down in the street, particularly if they were elderly or disabled.

In response, a spokesman from West Sussex County Council said: “This was reported to us at the same time we 
were carrying out a routine inspection of East Street.

“Our inspection found no defects that needed to be repaired.

“However, in light of this report outside the shop, we will go back to inspect this particular location again.”

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