Tree roots are tripping up Whanganui's walkers and they've taken to social media to voice their frustrations.

Sue Hercock fears people may trip, fall over and injure themselves, from tree roots pushing up beneath many of the city's footpaths.

One person who responded to the post was Sarah Fallen, who is vision impaired and struggles getting down Victoria Ave, even with what she calls her "blind stick".

"When we're heading up towards the Mad Butcher, all of those trees up there are really bad and actually on the KFC side as well, all of the roots are coming up through the footpath," Fallen said.

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"I don't walk that stretch of road much at all any more, it sort of freaks me out having to walk up there. I suffer from anxiety and I don't want to fall over, that's my big fear."

Fallen left Whanganui more than 20 years ago, moving to Cairns in Australia, and has been back in the river city for only a year.

"At first in Cairns we had no footpath on my side of the road where I lived, it was all grass, and for me to cross the road to head down to town was very dangerous," Fallen said.

Sarah Fallen is vision impaired and does not walk Victoria Ave often any more because she is afraid of tripping and hurting herself due to the uneven surface created by tree roots. Photo / Stuart Munro
Sarah Fallen is vision impaired and does not walk Victoria Ave often any more because she is afraid of tripping and hurting herself due to the uneven surface created by tree roots. Photo / Stuart Munro

"I called my council and ended up getting a whole new footpath put in all the way into town because it improved the whole area for everyone.

"Kids going to school had the use of a new footpath."

Fallen's brother Joe is also vision impaired and though Sarah says his eyesight is slightly better than hers, he also struggles walking in the area.

Fallen has not had an accident or called Whanganui District Council, but said she has not seen a street anywhere else in a state as bad as Victoria Ave.

"The roots are sticking up, it's uneven, I reckon council should just rip it all up and make it flat to make it safer not only for blind people but other people as well.

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"I would love to put that suggestion through for people that have disability issues, it would be lovely to see a nice new footpath.

"I could walk up town a bit more instead of having to catch a cab."

One commenter pointed out that the roots growing on the other side make the gutters uneven, which makes parking difficult and damages tyres.

Another said they knew of two people who had injured themselves tripping and falling over on the raised path, one of them suffering a broken ankle.

Craig van Beek said it was difficult to push a wheelchair down the street, something he has done with his wife Isabelle, which they now try to avoid.

"Everything has been pushed up, it doesn't look like much when you're walking, but when you're pushing a wheelchair or driving a mobility scooter over the bumps, it's very noticeable," he said.

"Sitting in the wheelchair, it's probably pretty scary, especially when we come to a grinding halt to avoid hitting a big rise. We try and avoid going down there because it's like going over speedbumps."

The van Beeks have also been in Whanganui for a year and Craig said he was not sure what could be done to rectify the situation.

"They started off well, but now the trees are just destroying things, I don't know if they've got anything else under the road, but tree roots being tree roots, they tend to go through anything.

"That's why farmers don't plant them near septic tanks or pipes."

Van Beek also had not called WDC about his concerns.

"Council are not always great at listening. We have voiced concerns with them on other matters previously, they give you nice comments back, but nothing actually eventuates from it," he said.

"It's about their planning from the beginning, the only way you could fix it now is by removing all of the trees."