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Disabled woman is trapped at Surfleet underpass

Riverside Hotel landlord Nick Bond with a parked car blocking the underpass for people on mobility scooters. SG241117-126TW
Riverside Hotel landlord Nick Bond with a parked car blocking the underpass for people on mobility scooters. SG241117-126TW

Hotel customers have several times rescued a disabled woman unable to exit the underpass on the A16 at Surfleet because her mobility scooter can’t get past a parked car.

Retired teacher Patricia Hayes (65) lives in Seas End Road, Surfleet, and says the underpass is her only route to the village unless she dices with death among A16 traffic.

In April, Patricia asked Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) to place parking restrictions on the village side of the underpass, which emerges near the Riverside Hotel.

Patricia was told then it was a police matter but says there needs to be something on the road so drivers know they could cause an obstruction.

Riverside Hotel landlord Nick Bond asks his customers to move if they park on that spot, but non-hotel users sometimes block the underpass.

Patricia says the Nick has several times rescued her, sending men out from the pub to lift her scooter past a parked car.

Though grateful for Nick’s help, Patricia has been cut off from the village.

She said: “There was a van parked there for three days. Nobody knew who it belonged to so I wasn’t able to get to the village for three days until the person moved the van.”

There’s also a kerb at the spot, which Patricia says serves no useful purpose and makes it harder for people on mobility scooters.

She knows of two others with mobility scooters who use the underpass and says mums with prams and pushchairs struggle.

Nick told us the hotel doesn’t own the road next to the underpass but he is always happy to help when Patricia is stuck.

County councillor Rodney Grocock and Surfleet Parish Council are taking up Patricia’s case.

Coun Grocock told us: “Cars park close to the entrance but they are not doing anything wrong because there aren’t any signs telling the cars how close they can or can’t park. A pedestrian can walk past the cars but a person on a mobility scooter would have difficulty.

“I have emailed LCC Highways and told them it is not a police matter, it is a lack of signage, and told them if they restrict the car that parks closest, by painting a yellow box on the road then this would sort the matter out and if the cars still insisted in parking in the yellow box then the police could take action.”

The local highways manager said: “We are sorry to hear about this situation. There are currently no parking restrictions at this location so we cannot legally take action against people that park on the roadside. However, if they park in a way that creates an obstruction or hazard, the police do have the authority to take action.

“New parking restrictions could be investigated if requested by the local community or the police. There would then need to be local consultation, and, if any objections are received, they would have to be considered by our planning and regulation committee.

“In the meantime, we would ask that motorists try to park in a way that doesn’t prevent people from using the underpass.”

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