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West Berkshire Council ‘unsympathetic’ for taking no action on Thatcham uneven footway



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Thatcham councillors have branded West Berkshire Council as ‘unsympathetic’ for taking no action on an uneven pathway opposite Whybrow Court, between the A4 and high street.

The pathway in Crown Mead has been an area of struggle for local walkers, particularly those with disabilities.

One resident contacted the council to voice concerns for his elderly wife who has to cautiously walk through the Crown Mead footway on crutches because he can no longer push her wheelchair over the uneven surface.

The uneven footpath on A4 between Crown Mead and High Street in Thatcham
The uneven footpath on A4 between Crown Mead and High Street in Thatcham

Another resident, told councillors that she fell on the gulley and broke her arm two years ago. She contacted West Berkshire Council but was told that it wasn’t deep enough to cause an issue that needed rectifying.

Councillor Keith Woodhams (Lib Dem, Thatcham West) raised the complaints in a full council meeting in July, requesting a site visit from West Berkshire Council.

However, following on from its inspection, no action has been taken.

The uneven footpath on A4 between Crown Mead and High Street in Thatcham
The uneven footpath on A4 between Crown Mead and High Street in Thatcham

In its response to Thatcham Town Council, it said: “We have concluded that the site is safe with no immediate hazard and therefore no further action will be taken at this time.

“However, this section of footway will be assessed along with other similar sites across the district for possible inclusion in one of our future repair programmes.”

Concerns were raised by Thatcham councillors last week in a planning in highways meeting on whether the right part of the footway was inspected.

Discussions were also had about whether residents were consulted prior to the inspection.

The uneven footpath on A4 between Crown Mead and High Street in Thatcham
The uneven footpath on A4 between Crown Mead and High Street in Thatcham

David Lister (Lib Dem, Thatcham West) said: “It does appear to be an unsympathetic response.

“Unless they understand they experience of the wheelchair user, or the other supporter who is pushing the wheelchair, do they have really any understanding of what that experience is?”

The town council has proposed a joint meeting between a West Berkshire officer and Thatcham town councillors to ensure the site is inspected correctly.

West Berkshire Council has been approached for comment.



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