Bl**dy pavements!

Last week my running partner fell (tripped) whilst running along a poorly lit uneven residential street. Two hours in A&E 2 x-rays and a fair bit of nasty tugging has straigtened her fracured and dislocated finger. Tonight she fell again on a different piece of poorly lit and uneven pavement, luckily she didn't hurt herself seriously this time. I am really angry about this: Thank God she isn't elderly or frail! Why can't councils look after street lighting etc?!
Rant over. Jiggi


  • Expect they'll say they don't have the money for it Jiggi. I had a trip on some uneven paving when I was training for my second FLM and have a lovely scar on my knee as a reminder. I went back, took photos of the paving and my injury and wrote to the council but, quite frankly, they were totally uninterested. Almost a case of 'what do you expect if you do something silly like running'!

    Hope your friend is ok and not too shaky.
  • And if the pavements aren't bad enough, if you try to go off road you have to contend with the overgrown pathways! I haven't actually fallen yet but I have tripped on brambles that have decided that the other side of the path looks like a good place to expand into, and fallen over hidden stones. So far the only damage has been a twisted ankle luckily.
  • I was pondering this this morning as I ran along uneven pavements in the dark, with streetlights lighting the road but not the pavement (there's a big grass strip between the two and the lights are on the road side of the grass). Cars have headlights for the dark, so let the pedestrians and runners struggle on in the unlit bit, why don't you?...
  • debbodebbo ✭✭✭
    Jiggi - can she get compensation? I know it doesn't sort her finger out, but it helps! My mum got nearly £3000 from Edinburgh council after she tripped over a paving stone and tore a ligament.
  • In the UK you have a split personality about public services. you expect European levels of service in healthcare and infrastructure (and pavements!) coupled with American style low taxes.

    Now obviously you can't have both. So the Government (Lab or Tory, makes no difference) devolves responsibility for an increasing number of local services to councils or regional authorities. They then give them an amount of money (signifigantly smaller than the Govt had been spending) in central funding and a limited right to raise local funds through the likes of teh Council tax.

    That way central Govt can lower your percieved tax rates (income tax most obviously) while blame poor services on "bad choices" being made at a local level.

    Compensation - understandable from an individual perspective - makes things worse from an organisational perspective. It's like teh bank charging you a tenner for a £15 standing order that pushes you over your overdraft limit.

    While I have every sympathy there isn't a lot that you can do without wholesale re-education of teh electorate.
  • We've suffered so many trips and falls, now i run with a small torch when it get's a bit dark.
  • Most of the pavement problems around here are thank to laying cabling for the tv companies, over 10+ years. They've been getting progressively worse since and the local council couldnt give a hoot.
    You need to be careful night and day.

    Hope future runs are paving incident free
  • Did my ankle on a poorly lit bit of pavement last night.

    This is in European-infrastructure Germany.

    Lucky I didn't break my foot.
  • Whilst I have sympathy with any injury - surely this is down to personal responsibility? If it's dark and you can't see properly, should we really be doing something as hazardous as running? If we were driving on the motorway and the heavens open or it's heavy fog we slow down as we can't see.

    Obviously this makes me a hypocrite as I do carry on running when I get to badly lit or dark stretches but I accept the responsibility myself.

    Another point it that councils don't employ people to walk the streets checking for broken lamps, cracked pavements etc. If something is amiss, report it and it might get fixed.

    Sorry if it sounds like I'm dismissing your injuries, I'm not. Just trying to get a bit of perspective.

    Running is a bit of a risk. If she was walking she would have been fine.

    The council cant do everything, but sounds like your pal cant be bothered to even get a head torch.

    I broke my leg in an unlit tunnel in daylight (sunny out - dark in the tunnel).

    I stepped on a winebottle on its side that I just didnt see. It hurt.

    I wouldnt want to sue the council even though people reckoned I should - how can they do everything ? I couldnt see where I was going - I should have walked. If there are patches that you can't see where you're going - either walk, get a headtorch, or risk running but dont expect sympathy from me if you fall.

  • I wrote recently to local council as the brambles were all across a path and kids in buggies would literally got their faces slashed or had to go in road. After about a week the brambles were cut back, so reporting does go answered in some areas - ok it wasn't laying a whole new path, but it wasn't ignored.
  • That's good to hear Tequila (that something got done of course not that kiddies were getting injured)

    Over grown stuff does annoy me but I always forget to contact the council - also not always sure which council I need to contact.
  • Hmmmm......
    Not bothered to get a head torch! On a public footpath at 7pm with (inadequate) street lights..... ?! Don't be ridiculous!!!I think it's the council's responsibility to provide adequate lighting. If that's not the case, then remove the lights completely, that way one wouldn't assume that the path is lit. I'm talking about London here, not the middle of nowhere! In anycase, it's not just the light, last night's incident happened because the paving slab was broken and unstable. It actually tipped her over. I'm all for personal responsibility and she's not out for compensation, but I do think councils have a respobsibility to maintain the highways and byeways and I shall write and tell them so.
  • And another thing! Don't joke because it was her finger, Cougie! It was fractured and dislocated and VERY painful. She has a young family to care for and the position of the fracture makes driving( for example) very difficult and painful. Your hands and fingers are stuffed with nerve endings and are extremely sensitive, so try it first before laughing about it. (Yes, I've had a bad day).
  • Try driving with a broken leg. Impossible.

    OK - I was a bit flippant - but worse things happen all the time to nice people.
  • True, but it's all relative and it doesn't make it any easier for her!!
  • I ran into a concrete bollard in broad daylight, nearly sliced me in half.
    That put paid to any housework/gardening for the rest of the day - shame eh?!
  • Every cloud has a silver lining I guess! Hope you're all healed up now though!
  • Thankfully no broken bones, just badly bruised, no running just yet though!
  • I live in an area where we have alot of trees that line the streets and unfortunately the tree roots do lift up the pavements and make them very uneven, this is not too bad in the summer evenings where you can see okay but combined with poor street lighting and wet slippy fallen leaves it makes for an interesting run. Just had to slow down a bit where it was particularly dark.
  • A lot of councils will do something if you contact them. Mine has got a lot better over recent years about this in general and removing dumped cars. Used to be loads around, you don't get them now, or at least they are gone in 2 days.

    Have had a couple of pavement trips myself, on one I continued my nine mile run and then wondered why my leg had swelled to double size !! It did get better though.

    I think a lot of problems happen when cable companies dig up pavements or new housing developments go up. I reckon the councils should make them relay the pavements once they have finised. Good pavements, no public money !
  • JoolskaJoolska ✭✭✭
    Councils do have people whose job it is to inspect pavements, etc., and there are (I think) various standards which are set, defining if a defect is a dangerous defect. What are affectionately known as 'trippers and slippers' are big business. Just ask any of those firms that advertise on day-time TV ("Have you had an accident that wasn't your fault?, etc.,).
  • GavoGavo ✭✭✭
    Yes there are standards but they are relatively low when it comes to street lighting. No LA (local authority) in London (given that this is where the incident took place) will spend the money to replace its street lights in order to make the side streets safer. Pedestrianised shopping areas (such as Oxford or Regent St) will have excellent lighting, residential areas won't.

    In terms of street lighting, the only thing that LAs will look at is the crime issue - well-lit streets help to discourage crime. Added to which for residential areas is the NIMBY problem - residents don't want the street lights to be too bright to stop them from sleeping.

    In terms of the paving then yes the LA has some responsibility but as Brooks said, it probably wasnt't them who damaged it. If the damage was reported & they didn't fix it then you can sort of blame them, although I'd be happier to blame the company who damaged the paving. However, you can't expect LA staff to regularly check all the pavements across their borough and council tax payers won't pay for it.
  • I don't usually run in the dark so I am talking about hazards during the day. The overgrown path that I run down is along the coast around the edge of a golf course. The council cannot decide who's responsibility is it. If it's on public land then the local council is responsible, if it is private land then the golf course is responsible, if it is classified as a sea wall then it comes out of the sea defence budget.

    I have asked my local councillor to look into it and get it sorted and although he is getting further than me it has taken him all summer and now it is dying back naturally anyway.
  • I always run on the road. It's just too much hassle going up & down kerbs - really breaks the rhythmn. Plus the pavements are always more uneven & badly lit, so it seems safer to run in the road. I make sure I wear fluorescent & reflective stuff. I'm lucky though as I live in a fairly small market town so the roads aren't too busy most of the time.
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