Uneven, poorly laid bitumen footpath
Sent to City of Canada Bay Council less than a minute later
At 6 pm on 14th October I was visiting my brother in Dydney and walking up Bickleigh Street with my 11 year old nephew towards a pizza restaurant. Wearing sensible low heeled boots and walking at normal speed, and I am surefooted. My right foot twisted over on uneven bitumen close to grass and I fell sideways. I was carrying a bottle in my right hand, it smashed as I landed and I sustained two deep cuts to my left hand which wax extended to protect my fall. That night I had to locate and attend an emergency department at Concord Hospital, the arm was treated superficially and immobilised in a cast as there was glass deeply embedded in a cut; then return to the hospital for the whole of the next day prepped and awaiting a general anaesthetic and plastic surgery to clean the wounds thoroughly and remove a large piece of glass. This affected my holiday; along with shock and discomfort, it meant that I had to change flights, as I was booked to fly to Hobart on Monday but medically unready to fly. I will follow up with the Canada Bay Council as I am unhappy about what happened for myself through no fault of my own, and what could happen for other pedestrians, such as a father I saw walking up the street briskly with his toddler on his shoulders, or frail elders. I have a number of photos of the footpath.
I understand from my relative in Abbotsford that the Council sent workers to improve the footpath in the vicinity where I tripped, but to my knowledge that spot has not yet been fixed.
The City of Canada Bay Council mailed me a letter dated 8 December 2017 refusing my request for the Council to cover the several hundred dollars in costs incurred after October 14, when I tripped and fell on pavement in Bickleigh Street in Abbotsford and cut my hand on a glass bottle that I was holding at the time. I’m pretty disappointed. Their ( polite) letter states that their insurers Echelon Australia have “determined that while the area was part of a construction zone the footpath itself was not uneven and did not pose any hazard to those walking on the footpath itself.” As I did trip on an old, uneven bitumen footpath on October 14, that is simply not true. I live in Perth so am not at hand to follow this up. My brother, who lives in the next street, informed me days after the accident that the council had sent workers to improve the footpath. They hadn’t fixed the right spot. Some weeks later I sent the Council my own photos along with my reimbursement request showing the spot and the several uneven rises thereabouts. They may be slight, but they they are uneven enough to trip on. I went back to take these photos of this exact location within 24 hours of the fall. I personally can’t determine if the spot has been fixed prior to my claim or prior to the Echelon Assessment.
The council’s letter states “ it was determined that while the area was part of a construction zone the footpath itself was not uneven and did not pose any hazard to those walking on the footpath itself and that the Council has not been negligent in this matter” From where I stand,the fall was not related in any way to the demolition site behind the wire is fence on the block to my right, heading up the rise. The footpath was not part of that demolition site - it is simply an uneven footpath that I think is a trip hazard for anyone not treading slowly and with extra care because they know of its bad condition. I saw a father wearing joggers walking with his toddler on his shoulders and enjoying the late afternoon sun as it went down. What if he had happened to trip? His child could be badly injured. Children playing could fall because of the footpath’s condition. An older person who is not sure footed ( I am) could easily take a fall. I will forward these comments to the Canada Bay Council. I sincerely hope that the Council will take the condition of the footpath seriously, and take more effective action to assess and repair it, for the safety of ratepayers and others who will use it, such as myself.
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