CRAZY PAVING? From migraines to falls, the new block paving on Freeman Street, installed as part of the regeneration of the area, is causing concern to some groups and residents. Picture: Rick Byrne
THE leader of North East Lincolnshire Council has denied claims the controversial block paving in Grimsby’s town centre and Freeman Street could prove hazardous to health.
A spokesman for North East Lincolnshire Falls Collaborative said the group had “real areas of concern” about the potential risks to the disabled and those with dementia and other conditions.
Hope collaborative facilitator Sylvia Leary has revealed she has received reports from carers of those with dementia that many sufferers perceive the black blocks among other coloured bricks as holes, which they then try to avoid, risking injury in the process.
She also said a risk assessment she had carried out in the area had revealed a lack of drop-kerbs, making the area difficult to navigate for the disabled.
Epilepsy sufferer Councillor Steve Beasant added the pattern could also trigger epileptic fits for those with photosensitive epilepsy – a fact he had pointed out to NELC before the blocks were laid.
However, NELC leader Chris Shaw has denied there is an issue, adding the council had contacted the Epilepsy Society for advice before going ahead with the scheme.
As reported, the concerns are the latest in a long line of complaints about the blocks, which have already come under fire from businesses, residents and taxi drivers – many of whom have branded it a “waste of money”.
Now, the worries over health issues has led to calls for the council to take action to avoid anyone being seriously injured.
Mrs Leary said she was “disappointed” NELC had not consulted the Falls Collaborative before laying the new multi-coloured paving – especially as it had previously regularly sought advice from the group on highways issues.
She said: “NELC is probably doing it to make Freeman Street look prettier – and it is a big improvement there – but there are some areas which are quite disappointing. There are lessons to be learned from this.”