Another victim of uneven tiles

ESTHER ASHBY-COVENTRY
Last updated 05:00 10/12/2013
Frances Walker
JOHN BISSET/Fairfax NZ
TRIPPED UP: Frances Walker will be slowed this Christmas after a fall in Stafford St.

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A Timaru woman is angry after tripping on Stafford St tiles on Sunday, fracturing her ankle.

Frances Walker said one tile was slightly above the others, causing her to fall.

"I'm very annoyed, it's the worst time of the year for this to happen," she said.

Retailers and shoppers have identified the uneven and slippery-when-wet tiles as problems before, and yesterday Timaru District Council land transport manager Andrew Dixon said the paving would be considered and options explored as part of the proposed Timaru CBD $1 million "refresh" project.

Investigations for that project will be done this financial year, with money set aside for work in the following two years.

Mrs Walker is expecting 20 extra people for Christmas lunch, but is worried she will not be up to the job of host now. "I can't chase the grandchildren," she said.

Mrs Walker, an administrator, will work half-days until she is more mobile. She is likely to be on crutches and using an ankle brace for about four weeks.

She had slipped on the Stafford St pavement previously but escaped with scraped knees.

Her husband, Graham, is also angry about her injury. "It's absolutely shocking. When will the Timaru council seriously address the health and safety of people walking in the CBD? Specifically, the pavements lined with shiny, unevenly laid bricks," he said.

Mr Walker was surprised the pavement passed inspection originally. He failed to understand why the council did not seem to be bound by health and safety rules in the same way employers were.

"It seems the whims of fanatical architects bent on aesthetics are more important than the safety of people. It also appears the council and other institutions hide behind the skirts of no-fault ACC insurance. In other countries they would have the pants sued off them for such gross negligence," Mr Walker said.

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- The Timaru Herald

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