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Skipton pensioner wins fight for handrail on sloping path
10:00am Friday 21st February 2014 in News
A Skipton pensioner has finally won her fight to get a handrail fitted to a path close to her home, after a wait of almost three years.
Audrey Crossley first asked Craven District Council for a rail to be fitted along a path off Roughaw Road when she was 80 years old.
Now, just before she reaches her 83rd birthday, the council has said a rail will be fitted before the end of next month.
Mrs Crossley, who has lived in Roughaw Road with her daughter for 40 years, said the sloping path, leading from Roughaw Road to Middletown Recreation Ground, became treacherous in wet or icy conditions.
“It is used by many people to cross the rec to walk their dogs and for access to Pinhaw Road, Greatwood School and the allotments,” she said.
“It is hazardous in ice, snow and the increasingly strong and gusty side winds. My daughter and I have witnessed at least two young people over the years slipping and falling on the unlit and untreated icy and snowy path and slope.”
Mrs Crossley, who went through her ward councillor, Robert Heseltine, to ask for the rail, said she suffered from osteoporosis in her lower spine, which meant she found negotiating the path difficult.
“I have a car badge, and sometimes use a mobility scooter and now need a walking stick, or folding seat to steady myself when negotiating the long slope, especially in windy conditions and would very much appreciate a long-awaited handrail,” she said.
Coun Heseltine said he was delighted that the council had finally agreed to install a handrail even though it had taken so long.
“I’ve been pushing for this for Mrs Crossley for three years and in all that time I’ve been told the council can’t afford it, last year they went out for a tender, and said it was too expensive,” he said.
Finally, Coun Heseltine – who suggested Mrs Crossley write to the council’s chief executive – raised it at last week’s policy committee meeting when councillors were discussing next year’s budget.
“I certainly got short shrift at the meeting and it does appear that once the Craven Herald got involved, it was a case of hey presto, here’s the handrail,” he said.
Paul Ellis, the council’s director of services, who rang Mrs Crossley to discuss her concerns, confirmed: “The council are to provide a handrail on land it owns on Roughaw Road.
“The work is scheduled to be completed by the end of March.”