Pavement campaigners inspired by first victory

Residents celebrating victory over dropped curbs. Cllr Andrew Batsford is also pictured.
Residents celebrating victory over dropped curbs. Cllr Andrew Batsford is also pictured.

RESIDENTS are celebrating their first victory of a campaign to see improvements made to pavements in the Ashford Road area.

The campaign group GRASP (Give Residents of Ashford Road Safer Pavements) has been working to highlight the hazards faced by local residents, particularly the elderly and users of wheelchairs or mobility scooters, due to uneven pavements and lack of dropped curbs.

Hastings Borough Council has now agreed to put £3,500 from the parking surplus towards creating five dropped curbs, which are due to be installed by East Sussex County Council (ESCC) contractors in the coming weeks.

Roy Lewis, 80, of Ashford Way, is one of the lead members of GRASP, and said: “It’s like a ball of snow - the more people who push, the further it goes.

“This is only the beginning of community protest as we have other issues.”

The campaign has received backing from St Helens ward councillor Andrew Batsford, and cllr John Hodges.

Cllr Batsford said: “This is areal victory after 30 years of the residents complaining and writing letters, and a real good news story because I don’t think anybody believed anything was going to happen.

“However, it is only the starting point. Now we have acknowledgement, we need to push on to finish it off.”

ESCC is responsible for maintenance of most roads and pavements.hazardous.

Roger Williams, head of highways, said: “We inspect roads regularly – the town centres every month and the residential roads every six months.

“Safety is a top priority for us and, of course, if we find anything that is dangerous we repair it.

“As you will appreciate, all councils are experiencing challenging financial times and we need to spend our money where it’s most needed.

“Unfortunately that means that uneven road surfaces are unavoidable, but they are not necessarily dangerous.”