Dannevirke's Roger Ramsden has been campaigning for better footpaths for mobility scooter users and the Tararua District Council is listening.

Mr Ramsden has previously told the Dannevirke News some footpaths are treacherous

"You've got to have your wits about you," he said.

And it seems reports filed on the council's CRM (Customer Request Management) system back up Mr Ramsden's concerns.


"With an ageing population and the increase in the use of mobility scooters, we're very aware of the need for safe footpaths," Chris Chapman, Tararua Alliance network manger, said.

"Our intention is to get our network inspectors out on mobility scooter to survey out footpaths and this work is generally done over the summer months.

"Asphalt breaks up under UV light, a fundamental problem for our area, along with lichen on footpaths and there are some issues with the camber of footpaths too. The all-faults survey would be associated with footpath cracking, trip hazards, the overlay and tree roots."

Dan Erard, the Tararua Alliance urban supervisor, said when CRMs come through inspectors check the area.

"If there is a safety issue, the hazard would be repaired," he said.

Tararua District mayor Tracey Collis reassured residents maintenance and safety issues would be addressed.

"The survey would give us a work priority order and is the only gauge I've got as to how bad the issue is," she said. "Tree roots are challenging."

For Mr Ramsden, overhanging tree branches are also an issue, especially when it's been raining. He has also encountered tree roots protruding through the pavement.

Peter Wimsett, the council's manager of strategy and district development, said there have been increasing concerns about footpaths in the past few years - especially the lichen problem.

"In the 2004/5 year we had a massive $1 million spend on renewals as a catch-up," he said. "Now the lichen will be sprayed and then swept off."

But Chorus is going to micro-trench all our footpaths as part of the ultra-fast broadband rollout, starting in Dannevirke in 2020, with Pahiatua and other Tararua towns following rapidly. Mr Chapman said it would be sensible to delay major pavement renewal until the trenches are completed.

"We need to assess where we will get the best bang for our buck for pavement renewal, while being aware of the growing number of mobility scooter users in Tararua," he said.

Debbie Webster, the road safety co-ordinator for Horizons Regional Council, told the Dannevirke News she's observed a mobility scooter user riding on the road in Victoria Ave and Queen St. When spoken to, the woman said she was on the road because of the state of the footpaths.

Mr Ramsden said he's also encountered problems in Swinburn St where some access-ways run from properties out to the roadside, causing a hazard.

""I'm aware of them, but if I hit one of them hard, it would put me out of my scooter," he said.

Mr Erard said the access-ways are the responsibility of property owners, but if council receives a complaint, they check the area and if necessary, advise the homeowner of the safety issue.

"In Thyra St, council renewed the pavement about five years ago, but there are problems with access-ways, which cause ramping issues for pedestrians and mobility scooter users," he said.

Mr Wimsett said it could cost up to $2500 for a new exit way from a property.

Acknowledging impaired vision and slower reaction times can cause problems for mobility scooter users, Mrs Collis said she wondered how far away it was before scooters had a hazard-warning system.