New wavey kerbs causing tripping and puddle perils in South Shields Market Place

Coun Jeff Milburn at the Market Square kerb
Coun Jeff Milburn at the Market Square kerb

Council bosses need to kerb their enthusiasm for potentially dangerous pavement designs, says a South Tyneside councillor.

Pedestrians say the new kerbs in South Shields Market Place are causing chaos because the way their height rises and falls.

Coun Jeff Milburn at the Market Square kerb

Coun Jeff Milburn at the Market Square kerb

One edge of the paving, outside the wool shop Knit n Purl, is about five inches, at its highest point, before it tapers down to road level, and then rises back up again.

The height differences – which council bosses say are ‘a common design in many town centres’ – are causing people to trip.

Coun Jeff Milburn, believes the design is dangerous and it’s going to cause more accidents.

He said: “I think it’s very inadequate and confusing. Why have a kerb at differing heights?

Coun Jeff Milburn at the Market Square kerb

Coun Jeff Milburn at the Market Square kerb

“Also the drainage on this side of the road is very poor and pools of water are gathering and creating an illusion so you can’t tell how high the kerb is, or how deep the puddle is.”

He added: “I think it’s going to cause trouble for the elderly, or the infirm, who may not see the height differences, and at the very least they’re going to end up with wet feet.”

Mary Catchpole, 73, from Whiteleas, South Shields, said she has already fallen victim to the new kerb.

She said: “It was raining the other day so the ground was wet, I had crossed over to look at the market, and I crossed the road at the lowest point in the Kerb.

“Then when I came back over I didn’t think anything of it, because I thought it was all flat and I ended up tripping because this time I was at a higher point.

“Thankfully I managed to catch myself and I didn’t fall flat on my face, but it is confusing if you’re not paying attention.

“I don’t understand why it can’t all be the same level.”

A South Tyneside Council spokesman said: “The kerb drops in height slightly at the junction with King Street to provide a level surface for pedestrians on to the market from King Street.

“This is a common design in many town centres.

“Enhancing the Market Place to create a civic space fit for the 21st century is a key element of our 365 regeneration plans.”