Elderly couple suffer double fall on perilous Potters Bar street

PUBLISHED: 09:10 23 September 2016

Potters Bar couple Winifred and James Lewis

Potters Bar couple Winifred and James Lewis

Danny Loo Photography 2016

The county council has been blasted for leaving a “lethal” Potters Bar street path unresolved, after an elderly couple were taken to hospital following a double fall.

James and Winifred Lewis, 87 and 84 respectively, fell over on an undulating stretch of Darkes Lane last week, and their daughter Susan Wells branded it “disgusting” that Hertfordshire County Council had failed to act on the complaints.

She said: “They were just going to the bank when my mother tripped on the pavement, and then my dad tripped trying to pull her up and fell on top of her.

“Both hit their heads. My mum had four stitches just above her eye, has swelling around her wrists and is really badly bruised.

“It was really upsetting and really frightening, especially at their age, hitting their heads. It’s dangerous.”

The pair have since returned home without life-threatening damage, but were both shaken.

Ringway, the county council’s contractor for roads, confirmed it had received six complaints before the fall about the undulating surface on Darkes Way since January.

“I think it’s disgusting really,” said Susan, a married housewife from North Finchley. “There are a lot of elderly people in the area and even the ones on their trolleys could go over.”

Passer-by Lucy Holt told the Potters Bar Edition the path was “lethal” and “looks like the sea”.

“It has been like this for four years and is in a totally unacceptable state given the number of elderly people who regularly walk from their retirement homes into Potters Bar.

“Surely it is cheaper and more humane to repair it than to allow elderly people to suffer unnecessarily like this.”

Kevin Carrol, of Ringway, said: “The area will be inspected over the next few days and if necessary works will be undertaken to make the area safe.

“Since the beginning of the year there have been seven reports relating to the condition of the footway in various locations along Darkes Lane.

“All were inspected but did not meet the county council’s intervention level for urgent repair.

“These will be kept in consideration for future programmes.”

Susan, 61, said her parents, who live in Darkes Lane, wanted to thank staff at Dreams and Revive Fitness and Spa, who were all “really helpful”, bringing out pillows and duvets.

Dreams store manager Ian Sanders thanked the couple for their kind words and wished them both a speedy recovery.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Welwyn Hatfield Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Welwyn Hatfield Times