A 73-YEAR-OLD grandmother was badly injured when she fell over a raised manhole cover exposed by roadworks in West Bay last week.

Christina Walker was collecting her granddaughter from Sladers Yard last week and trying to cross the road by Harbour Stores when she tripped and dislocated her elbow and bruised her face.

The retired clinical nurse specialist said she now faces a long and painful recovery.

She said: “I was so angry quite apart from the pain.”

She said there were barriers by the roadworks that led people to cross the road where she did and she was too busy negotiating the busy road to look down.

She said: “Suddenly I was on the road with a big crash. In the middle is a manhole and they hadn’t put any cones or anything around it and it was totally exposed. When you walk on the street you don’t look down because you are looking left and right for the traffic.

“I have a very badly dislocated elbow which is now in plaster from the finger tips all the way to my shoulders.

“My other hand also had a very bad bashing on my finger and I bashed my head although I wasn’t knocked out but my eyes and half of my face looked pretty awful.”

She rang the council to tell them they were mad to have the manhole sticking out.

She added: “After that I have heard that there were four more people who tripped over this.

“Talk about health and safety.”

A Dorset County Council spokesman said: "We were very sorry to hear about Mrs Walker's fall.

“We have spoken to her about the incident and wish her a speedy recovery. When the works began, we used tarmac to create a ramp-like effect around the raised manhole cover and minimise the risk of anyone tripping over it. Barriers were put in place and the site was signed to alert people to the fact that works were in progress and that extra care was needed."

Mrs Walker’s accident comes as residents and businesses convene a public meeting on March 8 in St John’s Church to discuss concerns about the roadworks and to help develop plans to boost trade..

The meeting hopes to convene a panel with MP Oliver Letwin and representatives from all three councils.

Coun Ros Kayes, who has been asked to call the meeting after talking to businesses, said: “People are very angry - I understand that the press coverage of the issue has emboldened others to say how unhappy they are with the design of the enhancement works and the fact that they will lead people out of the Bay and not into it.

“We need some joined up thinking here from the various councils to make sure that advertising and marketing is properly addressed to boost visitor numbers and that any parts of the works that are counter-productive can be addressed. Ordinary people want to be heard and that is why they have asked for this meeting.”



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