South Shields disabled man’s plea for support railings to be repaired

Alex Abernethy is in need of his disability handrails being repaired.
Alex Abernethy is in need of his disability handrails being repaired.

An elderly South Tyneside man says he has been passed from pillar to post as he tries to get disability railings at his home repaired.

Alex Abernethy, 85, from Henderson Road, South Shields, suffers from mobility problems and relies on two support barriers on either side of a ramp in front of his home.

Alex Abernethy is in need of the handrails to be fixed.

Alex Abernethy is in need of the handrails to be fixed.

Mr Abernethy says the barriers have become rusty and painful to hold and that he has been trying for a number of years to get them repaired, but to no avail.

The dad-of-one said his latest request to both South Tyneside Council and South Tyneside Homes for action resulted in him being told by both organisations that the other was responsible to undertake the repair.

He has now been promised that the work will be done.

Mr Abernethy, who used to be a compositor for the Gazette until the 1980s,

Alex Abernethy is in need of the handrails to be repaired.

Alex Abernethy is in need of the handrails to be repaired.

He said: “I’ve been passed from pillar to post. These barriers need repairing.

“The barriers have been up for about 30 years and are in a bad state of repair.

“The surface has rusted away and it hurts when you hold on to it.

“I phoned South Tyneside Homes and they said I need to phone the council. The council said it is the responsibility of South Tyneside Homes.

Alex Abernethy is in need of the handrails to be painted.

Alex Abernethy is in need of the handrails to be painted.

“I was just passed between the two.”

He added: “I am partially sighted and have a mobility scooter and use the barriers to stop myself from falling.”

South Tyneside Council has apologised to Mr Abernethy and says they will resolve the issue.

A spokeswoman said: “We would like to apologise to Mr Abernethy. 
“As we are now aware of the situation.

“We are working with him to help resolve the issue and will keep him informed of progress.”