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Future of cobbles in High Street splits social media

News | Published:

A SUGGESTION that changes should be made to the High Street to make it more accessible have provoked a strong reaction on social media.

States disability champion and Environment & Infrastructure member Deputy Sarah Hansmann-Rouxel at the reopening of Market Street, which has been resurfaced. She wants the committee to look at accessibility in the High Street. (Picture by Adrian Miller 25122635)

In Saturday’s Guernsey Press, Environment & Infrastructure member Deputy Sarah Hansmann-Rouxel, who is also the States’ disability champion, said that after improving access in Market Street, the committee could next look at improving the High Street.

She did stress that the committee would protect the heritage aspect of the area, but the cobbles made access very difficult for people with buggies and wheelchairs.

The story provoked more than 100 comments in the 24 hours after it was published on the Guernsey Press Facebook page.

Many feared for the future of the cobbles.

‘Please do not get rid of this lovely cobbled walkway,’ Annie Ford said. ‘People with disabilities and people in wheelchairs have managed for years with things as they are, why change them? Sick to death of the few wanting change.’

Rosemary Le Messurier agreed.

‘[It] Should be left as it is - it’s what gives the High Street its character,’ she said.

However others said the street caused a lot of stress for people with poor mobility.

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‘I am all for tradition and keeping the character of our beautiful island,’ said Emma Raderschadt.

‘But to all of you who are against this or think it can stay as it is, just try for one day to sit in a wheelchair and get around town and then imagine that you have no choice and every trip to town for ever more would be as uncomfortable, difficult, frustrating and exhausting as the one you just did.

‘People with disabilities have not managed fine in the past, they have avoided going to town and/or had to rely on other people. As a loving and caring community, we can do better than that.’

Dan Gallienne agreed that it was a challenge to get around the High Street, especially in wet conditions.

‘They’re slippery and falling apart, almost broken my neck on them several times,’ he said.

‘[I] can’t imagine how people in heels can cope, let alone the elderly or disabled.’

Juliet Pouteaux

By Juliet Pouteaux
News reporter

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