A DISABLED resident has hit out to Essex County Council about obstacles on a footpath which he says are “putting lives at risk”.

Paul Simmons, of Hewitt Road, Dovercourt, has complained to Essex County Council about the narrow pavements in Oakley Road which have lampposts or telegraph poles in “extremely bad locations” sticking out of them.

He also said it is “impossible” to get around the obstructions.

Mr Simmons uses a mobility scooter or drives and adapted car to get around the area.

He said: “I am unable to get past some of the obstacles without bumping down the curb and taking my chances with the increasing amount of traffic, including heavy lorries and busses, which hurtle along this rat-run back road from Harwich to Clacton.

“Disabled scooter users are not the only people affected by these obstructions, as I have seen families with babies in prams and young children on push bikes going into the road at these dangerous spots to be able to pass them.

“I fear that the inevitable may happen soon and someone will be injured or worse.

“I have to go on a diversion, which is a much longer way to go to the shops.

“I can’t use the mobility scooter because of the obstacles and Essex County Council says there’s nothing they can do about it.”

An Essex County Council spokesman said the street lightning team has advised this is not a street lightning issue, but that the footpath is too narrow.

He said: “Many streets in Essex have street light columns or other “street furniture” in places which makes the pavement too narrow for a wheelchair.

“Standards for new roads or for placing or replacing street lights on existing routes are much improved, so that this sort of situation should not arise in the future.

“However, given there are many pavements where historic streetlights are in the “wrong” place, it is impossible to move all of them quickly.

“We would advise individuals to contact their local Essex county councillor on issues such as this as they can raise the issue with the Local Highway Panel to consider possible action.”

Ivan Henderson, Essex County councillor for Harwich, said the problem won’t be solved because the council’s only solution would be to narrow the footpath.

He said: “If the Government is trying to get people to walk or cycle then they need to be able to provide safer roads to do that.

“They need to make sure the footpaths are safe, even for people with disabilities.

“I am not sure what the answer is, but I think the council will have to look at this issue to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.”

“I can say the county council won’t be able to solve this issue because all the local government spending is cut.

“The Highways panel won’t get that budget and can’t take on this type of the work.”