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MELKSHAM Town Council has agreed to informally investigate possible solutions to improve safety on the high pavement area on Bank Street.
In the last issue of Melksham News, it was reported that residents living with visual impairment were calling for safety measures – such as railings along the entire course of the pavement, or tactile paving to indicate where the edge of the pavement is – be installed to reduce the risk of accidents.
The area, which has a drop in some places of 3ft onto the main road, was described as ‘dangerous’, ‘frightening’ and ‘a nightmare’ for people living with visual impairment.
In response to concern, the town council will reexamine a previous study carried out by Wiltshire Council, which at the time resolved that the edge of the high pavement was not strong enough and would not support the weight of any railings.
The town council intends to investigate if modern technology has moved on since the study, and if there could now be a solution.
As an interim safety measure, the town council has also suggested asking Wiltshire Council to repaint the white visibility strip along the edge of the high pavement, which has faded and become dirty since its installation in 2012.
The town council also resolved at its economic development and planning committee meeting last week to invite local charity, Wiltshire Sight, to comment on the safety concerns and advise on what could be done to improve the area for visually-impaired people.
Another safety issue regarding retailers placing advertising boards along the pavement was also raised as a concern by councillors. Mayor cllr Jon Hubbard, suggested that the town council’s economic development manager visit business owners on the high pavement to establish their opinions and to agree a code of conduct regarding the display of advertising boards on the pavement.