Inadequate paths render Fornham St Martin resident’s mobility scooter useless

Julie Morris, right, with her father Jim Carpenter and sister Diane Steadman
Julie Morris, right, with her father Jim Carpenter and sister Diane Steadman
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A man who forfeited his driving licence due to ill health is watching his independence slip away because a lack of dropped kerbs has rendered his mobility scooter useless.

Jim Carpenter, a 14-year resident of Fornham St Martin, is an independent 83-year-old who desperately wants to be able to continue doing things for himself, be it ‘popping into town’ or doing his weekly grocery shop.

Mark Westley Photography'Julie Morris right with her Dad Kenneth James Carpenter and sister Diane Steadman,Tollgate Inn kerb is not dropped and impossible to get past on a mobility scooter.'Mark Westley Photography ANL-140309-205122009

Mark Westley Photography'Julie Morris right with her Dad Kenneth James Carpenter and sister Diane Steadman,Tollgate Inn kerb is not dropped and impossible to get past on a mobility scooter.'Mark Westley Photography ANL-140309-205122009

But he is suffering from a rare condition that means he has lost the ability to read and write and, though he invested in a mobility scooter in preparation for giving up his licence on Friday, he says he ‘can’t use it because he can’t get down the road’.

He says a lack of dropped kerbs means his only way into town on the scooter involves crossing the road near the busy Thetford Road, Tollgate Lane, Fornham Road junction where ‘cars are coming from all directions’.

He said: “It’s not good enough in this day and age - we’re an ageing population. I get annoyed because I love Bury, but it seems they’re neglecting people in Fornham even though we’re part of Bury.”

The father-of-four added: “I want to use a scooter - I don’t want to be dependent on my family. I don’t want to be a burden on the state and I don’t want to ask for help to do the basics. I want to be completely independent in this community for as long as I can.”

He caught a bus on Tuesday but said the walk to the bus stop was ‘extremely painful’ because of his arthritic knee and treacherous because of the poor state of repair of the ‘disgusting’ footpath on Barton Hill, near Thetford Road.

Suffolk County Council is investigating Mr Carpenter’s request for a dropped kerb.