Intervention eases Eddie’s mobility woes

Eddie Harper at the problem kerb. Pic: Steve Brown
Eddie Harper at the problem kerb. Pic: Steve Brown

The long-standing mobility woes of a disabled Tanshall pensioner have been ‘kerbed’ after the Gazette intervened on his behalf.

Former Royal Air Force policeman Eddie Harper requires the use of a mobility chair to go about his daily business.

But the 67-year-old Huntly Drive resident has recently been left in a number of vulnerable situations because there are no ‘drop kerbs’ immediately outside his home.

“It’s been very difficult to manoeuvre the chair down kerbs,” he said.

‘‘With weather deteriorating I’ve already been left stranded on a muddy grass verge which has been the only way of safely getting onto the flat road surface.

“On several occasions I’ve had to wait for someone passing to help free me.”

More seriously Mr Harper has also fallen out of his chair on two occasions trying to negotiate raised kerbs because of a lack of disabled provision in the area.

Because Mr Harper had purchased the mobility chair himself instead of being assessed and having it provided for him, Fife Council was under no obligation to add the additional modifications.

But after the Gazette informed the local authority of Mr Harper’s plight, big hearted transportation staff have agreed to sanction the necessary improvements ensuring the Glenrothes pensioner is not put at any further unnecessary risk.

Fife Council’s Scott Neil, team manager for Occupational Therapy in Glenrothes said: “As soon as we found out about Mr Harper’s situation we contacted him to discuss it.

“We then spoke with colleagues in transportation and after reviewing his case they’ve agreed to install two dropped kerbs in area where Mr Harper lives to help him with access.”

Mr Harper said he was “relieved” to hear that the improvements had been agreed by the Council.

Councillor calls for disabled policy review

Glenrothes councillor Betty Campbell has called for a review into the current policy and provision of disabled access throughout the town.

“I’m delighted to hear that the Council’s transportation department have now managed to meet Mr Harper’s needs,” she told the Gazette.

“But his situation is a recurring one with many constituents that contact me. “The feedback from many disabled residents is that there is not enough drop kerbs within the town - it’s a policy that needs reviewing.”