Calls for pavements to be gritted after shopper falls on icy Stoke-on-Trent street


Shoppers are demanding a council grit the pavements around a busy shopping street after an elderly lady slipped on the ice.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to Robert Heath Street, off Ford Green Road, in Smallthorne, earlier this week after a lady in her 80s fell and cut her head.

The state of the pavements in Ford Green Road has angered shoppers for years, but the icy conditions has made it even more dangerous for residents wanting to go to the post office or pharmacy.

Marion Walbanks, from Smallthorne, says she feels very unsteady walking over the ice and slush.

The 77-year-old said: “It is the worst road. Nobody ever grits this street and somebody always falls down every year when it snows. I have fallen on the ice here before.

“The ambulance was called here on Wednesday because a lady fell over and cut her head. I feel very unsteady walking along here.

“I have to do baby steps and I hold on to the railings because I don’t feel safe. Robert Heath Street is on the way to the shops and it should be gritted.

“Cars always skid along here as it doesn’t get gritted. It’s very dangerous. There definitely needs to be more gritting action.”

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And Wendy Hodnett says she was not surprised that somebody had fallen on the ice.

The 53-year-old, from Smallthorne, said: “This street is a main route to the shops and I feel unsteady walking along on the ice as I am full of arthritis.

“If the street was gritted it would make going to the post office easier, but they don’t grit this area. I’m not surprised that somebody fell over.

“Every time we hear an ambulance, we think somebody else must have fallen on the ice. It’s black ice. It needs to be gritted. I hadn’t been out until now because it’s that bad.

“Something needs to be done.”

The icy conditions on Robert Heath Street that residents face as they walk to the shops on Ford Green Road in Smallthorne
The icy conditions on Robert Heath Street that residents face as they walk to the shops on Ford Green Road in Smallthorne

Councillor Candi Chetwynd, who represents the area on Stoke-on-Trent City Council, is calling for all pavements around the shops to be gritted.

She said: “There has been issues with the paving outside the shops on Ford Green Road for years. Add to that the icy conditions and it is a death trap. People are taking their life into their own hands when they want to go to the shops.

“A lady in her 80s fell on Wednesday and an ambulance had to be called and she was knocked about badly. We’re in a pandemic, the NHS is in crisis and we don’t want to put more pressure on the service by people falling on ice.

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“I reported it to the council straight away.”

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We were called at 9.58am on Wednesday to reports of a patient who’d fallen at Robert Heath Street in Smallthorne.

“We sent one ambulance to the scene. We treated one patient, a woman, for minor injuries and she was discharged at the scene.”

The city council was unavailable for comment.





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