Pensioner’s mobility scooter broken by cemetery potholes

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The truck after the crash, which had its bumper and the passenger side of its windscreen punctured by a fence post. Picture: Tina Henley

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A PENSIONER says the poor state of a cemetery road damaged his mobility scooter during visits to his wife’s grave.

Tony Bradshaw, 72, of Stamshaw, visits Kingston Cemetery each fortnight to pay his respects to his wife Sheila, who died two years ago.

Mr Bradshaw, a retired weapons fitter for the Ministry of Defence, suffers from a neurological condition which affects his mobility and balance, and uses a walker and scooter to get around.

But over the summer Mr Bradshaw had to have the wheels on his scooter repaired, after they became damaged due to the uneven surface on the road inside the cemetery.

He said: ‘I know we have had a hard winter, but Kingston Cemetery has always been bad. I use a tri-walker to get around, but when I’m outside I use my mobility scooter so I can get further.

‘I have been using it for around 18 months and before Christmas I had to send it back to the manufacturers because the wheels had become damaged.

‘It was only afterwards that I started thinking about how they got so damaged as the streets near my home are all flat.

‘Then I thought about the path along Kingston Cemetery and how bad that is.

‘I’m constantly having to check the ground when I’m travelling to make sure I don’t fall into a pothole.

‘When I move to avoid potholes I end up going into the middle of the road, which is just as bad.

‘In the summer you have families and little children who visit the graves, and it could be dangerous for them.

‘People don’t deserve this, when all they want to do is visited loved ones and have somewhere to relax.

‘Once I had to shout for help because I almost fell, I thought I was gone and so did the people who helped me. That road is an accident waiting to happen.

‘I would like for someone to sort out the surface of the road as it’s a shame for the many people it affects.’

Portsmouth City Council, which is responsible for maintaining the city’s cemeteries, said it was waiting for the weather to improve before carrying out work.

Gerry O’Brien, cemeteries manager, said: ‘Major improvements to the road were finished in October last year, however the following spell of severe weather meant new potholes have since formed.

‘Although we will try to correct this as soon as possible, we have been advised not to carry out work in damp weather.’

He added: ‘We hope to start repairs as soon as the contractors are available, and as long as we avoid disrupting any burials.’