South Wales Council Officials are being forced to defend a recent regeneration programme in the wake of an increase in the number of personal injuries suffered in the town centre.
London, UK -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/24/2013 -- When is a town centre improvement, not a town centre improvement? That is a question being asked by officials in Pontypridd in South Wales as a £10.5million project to regenerate the town centre has come at an unexpected cost, personal injury to many of the town’s residents.
The regeneration of Pontypridd’s centre included the repaving of an area on Taff Street, however, whilst the flag stones have made aspects of the centre more aesthetically pleasing they have had an unexpected side effect. The manner in which the paving has been laid out has caused an ‘optical illusion’ from some angles which disguises the existence of a kerb.
The manner in which the kerb is hidden by the paving pattern has resulted in a significant increase in personal injuries suffered by people in the town, particularly older residents. The Welsh Ambulance Service has reportedly been called to the pavement twenty times in the past six months, due to people falling down the now disguised kerb.
Despite the increase in accidents and injuries a spokesman for Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, who are responsible for the improvement project, told the local press that they felt the regeneration had made the streets safer. "Accessibility throughout Pontypridd has been greatly improved due to the regeneration scheme and with an increased amount of visitors to the town centre month-on-month, clearly the project has been a huge success… the innovative free hire of mobility scooters and wheelchairs has been introduced, a scheme that would not have been possible previous to the regeneration project taking place."
At this stage it seems that the council have no plans to remove or rework the kerb which has led to personal injuries to a number of elderly residents, including 75-year-old Morfydd Jenkins who suffered face and neck injuries as a result of a fall recently. However, there must surely be a concern amongst Council employees that they could soon be set to face a personal injury claim for injuries suffered as result of a fall.
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