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A Campbeltown mum is urging pushchair – and wheelchair-users – to take extra care on the town’s pavements after her 16-month-old son had to be taken to hospital because of a fall.
Megan Elliot issued the warning after her son Finley suffered cuts, bruises and swelling on his lips and head, as well as a chipped tooth, when his buggy’s front wheels got trapped in a gap between the kerb and pavement on Milknowe Road last Thursday, April 14.
This caused Megan to fall over the pushchair, resulting in her own cuts and bruises, with the pair ending up on the road.
‘This is an ongoing issue with many pavements around Campbeltown,’ she said. ‘The front wheels get stuck on uneven pavements caused by raised kerbs and paving slabs and the buggy almost tips.
‘My shins are always covered in bruises and lumps from hitting them off the bottom of the buggy.
‘It happens a lot but never to this extent. The same thing happened to me the week before but, thankfully, the pram didn’t tip that time; it was just my shins that got the worst of it.
‘This time, the buggy went fully over and I went over the top of it.
‘I didn’t know if Finley was okay as he didn’t cry at first so my brain assumed the worst but I got him checked over at the hospital and they were happy with him.’
Megan has experienced issues on pavements in various town streets since she first started taking Finley out in prams and pushchairs, even after switching the brand of her buggy.
The mum made a complaint to Argyll and Bute Council after last Thursday’s incident but as it took place on a pavement on a trunk road, the responsibility for its maintenance lies with Transport Scotland.
‘It’s really disheartening when you go to other parts of Argyll and Bute and they are so well looked after,’ Megan said.
A spokesperson for BEAR Scotland, which maintains the trunk road network on behalf of Transport Scotland, said: ‘Pedestrian and road safety is of paramount importance at BEAR Scotland and Transport Scotland, so we are sorry to hear about this unfortunate incident on Millknowe Road in Campbeltown; we wish those involved a speedy recovery.
‘All trunk roads are subject to a weekly safety inspection to identify any defects which are considered to present a hazard to road-users and pedestrians.
‘In addition, all routes are subject to an annual walked detailed inspection to identify defects of less severity; these are used to prioritise future maintenance schemes.
‘Following notification of this occurrence, we are completing a further assessment of the area and will complete a temporary repair to make the area safe until a permanent repair can be completed.’
Megan added that the issues she experiences are not just caused by the condition of the pavements but also by protruding hedges and wheelie bins blocking the path.
‘It was only a few years ago the council would collect the bins from your back garden,’ she said. ‘Now, it seems to be the norm to just store them on the pavement where we are supposed to walk.
‘Sometimes people’s hedges are so overgrown, too, that you have to walk on the road.’
An Argyll and Bute Council spokesperson said: ‘We are carrying out a number of footway improvements across the council area this year, thanks to additional capital funding.
‘Regarding wheelie bins blocking pavements, we would like to remind householders that bins should only be left out on the morning of collection and removed from the pavement later the same day.’