Work is expected to start next spring to level a Hereford shopping street where trips and falls are a daily occurrence.

A spokesperson for Herefordshire Council said it would refurbish the paving in Widemarsh Street, along with other improvements as part of its city centre investment programme.

It plans to level the street's kerbing “so there is no upstand between the footway and carriageway”, as is already the case in the adjoining High Street, she said.

“Once a work programme has been identified, the council will be speaking with traders and stakeholders as it seeks to minimise disruption. It is anticipated this work will start in spring next year.”

Explaining the design, she said the kerbs were intended “to provide a tactile boundary between footway and carriageway for those using canes as well as a visual banding to identify the kerb”.

“This was developed with input from stakeholders including the Royal National College for the Blind, is compliant with legislation and national guidance, and is used in many similar schemes across the country,” she added.

But she acknowledged that “the experience of people using the street has been that some find the different levels of kerbing difficult to traverse”.

Under the re-design, “tactile banding” will help the visually impaired identify the different areas of the street instead, she added.


Meanwhile more reports have emerged of people’s experiences with the kerbs.

Temporary manager of the White Stuff clothing store on Widemarsh Street Claire Bohn said: “We offer assistance to people who have tripped, sometimes on a daily basis. We have a seat where they can sit until an ambulance arrives.”

Wendy Harris of Bredenbury said: “I fell last year on my first visit to Hereford, breaking my toe, my sternum (breastbone) and three ribs, and dislocating my shoulder. I spent five hours in A&E then had several weeks of healing and physio for my shoulder.”

The council told her the number of trips “represents a very small fraction of the number of people using the street daily”, she added.