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

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

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

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

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.

Coun Jeff Milburn at the Market Square kerb

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?

“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.”

Coun Jeff Milburn at the Market Square kerb

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.

Coun Jeff Milburn at the Market Square kerb

“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.

Coun Jeff Milburn at the Market Square kerb

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