One of the courtesy crossings on Queen St featuring loose bricks. PHOTO/GIANINA SCHWANECKE

GIANINA SCHWANECKE
gianina.schwanecke@age.co.nz

Several Masterton retailers have raised concerns about loose bricks along the Queen St courtesy crossings, after multiple elderly customers reported falling and injuring themselves over the last few weeks.

Pauline Hartwell who works at Unichem Southend Pharmacy said she had seen several clients who reported tripping over loose bricks on the Queen St crossing between Countdown and NZCU Baywide Masterton.

She said at least four elderly locals had come in over the last fortnight nursing black eyes or large cuts from their falls.

“I have had four people come into work over the last two weeks that have tripped on these tiles. Two were older ladies and both with black eyes.”

The crossings had been a cause of concern for many years, but it was just in recent weeks that she’d heard of people being injured.

“This is dreadful and affecting our most vulnerable. [The bricks] are very uneven, and I am always concerned when walking with my mother over these. They’re definitely an issue.”

Further down the road at Life Pharmacy, Paula Pakia said she’d seen similar injuries including one woman who had cut her head after tripping on a loose brick.

Fixing the protruding footpaths was a key priority for the Masterton District Council.

Manager of assets and infrastructure David Hopman said they had received several requests over the past few weeks for the raised bricks around the town centre to be repaired.

“We are, of course, deeply concerned about any incidents where members of our community receive injuries.”

Five of eight raised courtesy crossings were repaired before the holiday period, as well as footpaths in other locations, such as outside the ASB bank on Queen St where tree roots had pushed the bricks up and dislodged them.

He said the council had made repairing the remaining crossings a top priority.

“We still have some work to do to repair the remaining three areas south of Jackson St and expect this to be done within the next two to three weeks.”