Blind man suffers leg injury in Nailsea pavement collapse
- Credit: Mark Regan
A blind Nailsea resident has called for stricter parking regulations in North Somerset after cutting his leg in a fall through weakened pavement.
Mark Regan was walking in Watery Lane with his five-year-old granddaughter on July 28, when a concrete slab gave way, causing him and his guide dog, Merlin, to fall into an 18-inch gap in the floor.
Merlin the guide dog was already walking out of his usual position, due to the number of cars parked along the pavement.
Mr Regan told the Times: "I can only assume that people parking along there had weakened the pavement. My initial reaction was to call out as loud as I could to draw someone's attention.
"A man saw me fall and rushed to my aid, a nearby nurse practitioner also came to help."
During the incident, Mark suffered a four-inch wound on his calf while his dog Merlin escaped unscathed.
He added: "The nurse which came to help me wrapped my leg as it was bleeding heavily. If these people did not help, then I would have probably dusted myself off and carried on with my journey - possibly collapsing down the road.
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"Another scary thought is that I usually carry my granddaughters on my shoulders or in my backpack along this route. Thankfully, I did not that day."
Mark was then later taken to Clevedon Minor Injury Unit, where he praised his doctor's service after receiving 10 stitches to his leg.
Mr Regan noted that a lesser-known result of the ordeal is the possibility that his guide dog will be apprehensive about the route through Watery Lane, which the pair use daily to visit family.
Mr Regan added: "There is a lack of awareness for blind people. People are ignorant to the issues we face."
Cllr Mike Solomon is tasked with maintaining North Somerset's highways and neighbourhoods and called the incident 'a real concern' and something he hopes to address.
Mr Solomon told the Times: "Pavements are not designed for heavy traffic and we must deter people parking there, to avoid accidents like this and others for people with impairments or pushchairs trying to walk.
"This is something to address with an initiative such as enforcement teams to issue warnings and fines as parking on pavements is an offence. This is very serious."