A PENSIONER is calling for immediate repairs to be made to the paving in Braintree town centre after she unearthed data suggesting it was a hotspot for felled pedestrians.

Ann Cockerton, who is in her 70s, says she is one of many elderly residents who has been tripped up by the hazardous pavements in Market Place.

Ms Cockerton suffered cuts and bruises to her face, legs, arms and ribs when she suffered a fall in November last year.

She has since submitted a Freedom of Information request to the East of England Ambulance Service where she asked for the number of incidents they had been called out to for falls in Market Place.

The data showed paramedics were called out to site for 14 falls between December 2017 and November 2018. Figures showed in comparison, there were only three fall-related incidents in the neighbouring postcodes.

Ms Cockerton said: “I think 14 responses to the Market Place site is high and this does not include my accident nor those where no ambulance was called and I know of several of these where people sustained very nasty injuries.

"I still have bruises, scar tissue and problems with my lower lip.

"The town has become notorious for the number of accidents caused by dangerous paving.

"Too many ambulances are called for people falling on the broken and uneven pavements and this is a cost to the East of England Ambulance Service."

Ms Cockerton has written a number of letters to Essex Highways asking for repairs to be made but has been disappointed at the lack of action taken.

She added: "Obviously, the authority has a programme of repairs and maintenance but our pavements need to be given a high priority.

"It is not good enough to say that someone does not meet the authority’s criteria – with so many accidents I would expect it to register with someone that something needs to be done."

A spokesman for Essex Highways said“Our Highways Inspector walks the pavement in Market Place every month and every defect significant enough to cause a real risk is logged for repair. The last inspection was this month and found no significant risks.

“No paving slabs ever lie perfectly flat, slabs move as soon as they are laid as they are subject to different pressures and the soil/sand underneath moves very slightly, so some level of toleration has to be allowed.

“This area has comparatively very high numbers of people walking the pavements on most days and therefore it is not surprising there are call-outs. Also the area is a likely focal point for a rendezvous with an ambulance. There are also many reasons why people fall, including ill-health, poor eyesight as well as simple trips that are just bad luck. However, we very much regret if anyone has fallen while in the town, and particularly if a contributory factor was any fault on the pavement.

“Even with the careful monthly inspection, slabs can become loose in between. Should anyone have concerns about any dangerous slabs we would ask them to report them on our website so that we can respond effectively.”