Keynsham High Street is a menace to public safety and needs to be fixed immediately, Conservative councillors say.
It follows numerous reports of people tripping and falling over the uneven road surface, with some vulnerable residents even needing hospital treatment.
Keynsham’s Conservative councillors on Bath and North East Somerset Council are today calling on the Liberal Democrat administration to stop wasting time and fix the problems before more people sustain serious injuries.
Cllr Alan Hale, B&NES Conservative councillor for Keynsham South, said: “Since the completion of the High Street improvement project in March, I have been inundated with reports of residents being injured on the poorly-designed road surface.
“Despite numerous meetings with the council and senior members of the administration, as well as some extra mitigation works having been carried out, efforts to improve safety for pedestrians have simply not gone far enough, and now they have stalled.
“We are still seeing people tripping and falling, and it’s only a matter of time before somebody sustains life-changing injuries.”
At the moment, the placement of the dropped kerbs creates an optical illusion that causes people to think a kerb exists where it doesn’t and that one doesn’t exist where it does.
The Conservative Group is calling for the cycle lane to be lowered to road level – as they are usually found – so pedestrians are better able to identify the kerb edges.
Daniel Condick, one of the Conservative Group’s candidates for Keynsham South in next year’s local election campaign, said: “Until this vital change is made to the High Street, we are sadly going to see more people getting hurt.
“Astonishingly, the Liberal Democrat administration doesn’t seem to be interested in fixing the problem, which means a simple trip to the High Street could have catastrophic consequences for some of our more vulnerable residents.
“Enough is enough – let’s get the cycle lane lowered to road level and make Keynsham a welcoming place to visit again.”
The £1.5m High Street improvement project, completed in March, saw the footpaths widened and resurfaced, a cycle lane added and new street furniture installed.
B&NES Council has so far made attempts to improve safety on the High Street by installing signs, painting the cycle lane red and reducing the width of the solid white line that marks the edge of the cycle lane. But these measures are insufficient.
Since the project was completed, there have been 24 individual reports made to the council of trips and falls on the High Street. The Conservative Group, however, believes the true figure is much higher as not every fall is officially reported.