A VISUALLY impaired sportman has praised a council for responding quickly to his complaint about access in a town centre.

Stephen Hartley, a national bowls player, complained to Tavistock Town Council about its workers restricting space on the pavement on Duke Street. He was forced to walk single file with his guide dog to get past the council workforce while it was mending the paving.

He said: ‘By law, anyone working on paths has to give pedestrians a certain width to allow them to get past safely. Otherwise, people like me or people with prams are forced to go out into the road to get round the workers.

‘The pavement was crowded, so there were real problems with getting past the council workers. They had barriers up round the work, but hadn’t provided a temporary safe barriered alternative route in the road. If they don’t, then people have to walk in the road and that’s dangerous, especially people with prams and blind people. It’s even worse if cars are parked, then you’re forced into the middle of the road.’

Stephen added: ‘Although I had a problem, the council, were very responsive. They listened to me and acted very quickly. There’s also lots of advertising A-frames on paths.’

A council spokesperson said: ‘The council always welcomes receiving constructive feedback regarding our projects and activities which is then taken into account in future planning processes and we were pleased to hear that the member of public appreciated our response both on site and with our follow up communication by telephone. That being said, we commend our external contractors and in-house workmen that carried out essential maintenance works over two days in extreme adverse weather conditions, ensuring minimal disruption to the public and businesses, whilst taking into consideration health and safety and access throughout the duration, when practical.’