Potholes maroon disabled students in Lingfield
Lingfield-based epilepsy charity, Young Epilepsy, has been forced to take drastic action to stop up to 40 students who use wheelchairs from being injured.
The charity has banned the use of wheelchairs on St Piers Lane, which is the main entrance to and from its campus, due to the increasingly poor state of the road surface.
Young Epilepsy’s Chief Executive David Ford said,
This is not an issue we take lightly. Young Epilepsy champions independence for all young people with disabilities and it is with great regret that we have had to curtail this by barring the use of wheelchairs on St Piers Lane. At night time and in bad weather, the chances of someone dying or being seriously injured are increased dramatically.
Young Epilepsy’s Head of Facilities, Phil Rickett, began talks with Surrey County Council over a year ago but without success. He comments;
We have almost 200 young people with learning and other disabilities on site and employ over 800 staff. The edges of the lane have got increasingly worse so that it’s now simply impossible to take a wheelchair down it without venturing into the middle of the road and putting lives at risk.
The potholes in the middle of the road were recently emergency patched but very poorly so that drivers still swerve to avoid them. It is also quite galling that the other end of the lane, which is hardly ever used, has recently been completely resurfaced. We wondered if the contractors had made a mistake and re-laid the wrong end!
St Piers Lane is a lifeline to us and it is imperative that it is sorted out as soon as possible.