Kerb problems to be looked into

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OPOTIKI mobility scooter commuter Verna McDonnell says jumping kerbs is no fun when you’re an 84-year-old nun with an aching leg.

“I was born with a dislocated hip and it’s only getting worse,” she said.
With one leg shorter than the other, and in pain, Miss McDonnell now uses a walking stick even when she walks around inside her flat.

“But the rest of me is fine,” she said.

Speaking to the Opotiki District Council during the public section of Tuesday morning’s council meeting, Miss McDonnell said she had found a broken kerb at one place, which helped her get onto the footpath.

“I drive a three-wheeler scooter and at many places it’s difficult to get up,” she said.

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“I get nervous because it’s scary.”

Miss McDonnell said she had seen other mobility scooter users and wheelchair-bound residents in similar predicaments.

“I saw one man in a motorised wheelchair having real trouble getting up onto the pavement.”

Opotiki Mayor John Forbes said he believed the situation could be improved fairly easily.

“If we can go out with engineers and a wheelchair, then chop off bits of the kerb where needed,” he suggested.

“We will have a look at that.”

Opotiki District Council chief executive Aileen Lawrie said there was a new, nation-wide standard for footpaths coming and that the council was conducting a survey of its footpaths.

FLOODED paths can also be a problem for people using walkers, wheelchairs and mobility scooters. OB4321-02

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