Friday, 30 September 2011

Broken Hips and Pavement Clutter

Wednesday before last a 71 year old lady was in collision with a cyclist on the pavement outside Boscombe East Post Office and suffered a broken pelvis as a result. The story can be found here ... http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/9263062.Hunt_for_pavement_cyclist_after_pensioner_hurt/ 

Interestingly, the Echo allowed comments on this RTA straight away. It also printed an editorial opinion which seems to have already decided that the cyclist was completely to blame even before the Police have had a chance to conduct an investigation... http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/opinion/9266615.Look_out_for_coward_on_two_wheels/


What caught my eye, however, was the picture accompanying these articles - showing a shockingly overcrowded pavement outside the shop. I decided to take a look for myself.


Here's the approach from the North...


The pavement is hideously overcrowded. While one can expect a pillar box outside a Post Office, we also see a large green cabinet and a National Lottery advert. The pavement at this point is 315cm wide. The gap between the lottery and ATM signs is only 135cm! 


On the approach from the south there is a similar problem...


The free placement of advertising and other obstructions on the pavement is illegal, anti-social and dangerous. Indeed only 2 years ago this collision was predicted in the Echo by Philip Whitelegg who wrote:
I have received letters containing complaints about A-boards which they say regarding Boscombe is “awash with obstructions on their pavements”. The writers state that there are hazards of all sorts providing a situation where there are “accidents waiting to happen”. 

In the picture accompanying the articles we also see a Royal Mail van parked half on the pavement...
ACCIDENT SCENE: Boscombe East Post Office

Just a little further to the north the pawn shop is also causing problems...

The main article quotes John Satchwell, Bournemouth Council's road safety manager, as saying these sort of events are not at all frequent. Surely, then, we must consider that this clutter has contributed in some part to the accident?

1 comment:

  1. Comment from John Satchwell in response to an email pointing out these obstructions:"In my view accidents are normally caused by error of judgement and or inappropriate behaviour under the prevailing circumstances. I think it highly unlikely that inanimate objects will have caused a cyclist to collide with a pedestrian, or vice versa as you suggest."

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