'Fix our pavements': Disabled resident urges concrete action

Rosemarie Lawy, a Muswell Hill resident who has muscular dystrophy

Rosemarie Lawy, a Muswell Hill resident who has muscular dystrophy - Credit: Polly Hancock

A disabled woman from Muswell Hill says the “awful” state of pavements has left her “scared” to leave her house.

Rosemarie Lawy, 65, has muscular dystrophy and needs a wheelchair to get around – but she says the roads have been left in such a state of disrepair that they threaten her own and other residents’ safety.  

The former Rhodes Avenue Primary School teacher says she is forced to adjust her wheelchair position so that she doesn’t fall out when she hits bumps on the street.  

Highlighting the day-to-day difficulties of accessibility faced by disabled people, Rosemarie, who has lived in Muswell Hill since 1978, told the Ham&High: “I feel scared to go out.  

“It makes me reticent to leave the house because I’m scared. The worst thing is all the bumps because I get back ache, and it juggles my back.

Rosemarie Lawy negotiates the kerb in Muswell Hill

Rosemarie Lawy negotiates the kerb in Muswell Hill - Credit: Polly Hancock


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“I have to go out with my wheelchair slightly tilted up in case I fall out. I actually have to tilt the wheelchair backwards which is the most sensible position.” 

Rosemarie lives on her own but calls on the help of neighbours and friends. She says road safety affects all residents, not just disabled people.

Rosemarie Lawy relies on her wheelchair to travel around Muswell Hill

Rosemarie Lawy relies on her wheelchair to travel around Muswell Hill - Credit: Polly Hancock

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The 65-year-old claims the council is too slow to act, urging the town hall to improve her neighbourhood’s streets – particularly around Kings Avenue and Queens Avenue.  

“They're [the council] just not maintaining the pavement,” she said. “It’s so bad now, it’s got worse and worse and worse, and I've got weaker with my muscular dystrophy. 

“So I’m very weak and as I’ve got weaker it’s become much harder. So the pavements have got worse and I've got weaker.” 

Urging concrete change, Rosemarie added: “The pavements need redoing. They need to be made smoother and safer.”

Rosemarie Lawy says she faces particular struggles in Kings Avenue and Queens Avenue

Rosemarie Lawy says she faces particular struggles in Kings Avenue and Queens Avenue - Credit: Polly Hancock

A spokesperson for Haringey Council said the safety of residents is its "number one concern" and that a highways inspector will visit Kings Avenue and Queens Avenue. 

Saying it is committed to improving accessibility, the town hall said it has introduced a range of measures to support Blue Badge holders.

“Maintaining our footway network across the borough is an important part of providing travel in Haringey that is safe, accessible and sustainable," a spokesperson said.

"Like many London boroughs, many of our pavements require improvements due to issues such as general wear and tear, tree roots and vehicle damage."

The council said £1.9m of funding would help bring its footways "up to a good standard".

Rosemarie Lawy says uneven pavements worsen her back pain

Rosemarie Lawy says uneven pavements worsen her back pain - Credit: Polly Hancock

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