‘I nearly lost my leg’: Cardiff woman calls for pavements repairs after breaking hip in fall

A woman from Roath is urging the council to resurface what she has described as uneven pavements on Wellfield Road after falling and breaking her hip.

Jo Thomas fell on Wellfield Road and had to receive a hip replacement after tripping over an “uneven section” of pavement last year.

She told CJS News doctors said she could’ve lost her leg due to a lack of blood supply.

She said the experience has left her feeling anxious, especially when walking in the dark.

“When I go outside, I’m with my crutch and I’m looking at the floor.

“I won’t go out at night because I can’t see and I’m frightened of falling. I won’t go out if it’s wet because I’m frightened of slipping.”

She also said she had been unable to work since the accident: “I had the best job anyone could have.

“I worked in a special resources base in Marlborough Primary School, and it was absolutely brilliant. But since I’ve broken my hip, I can’t go back to work, I’m unsteady on my feet.”

A hairdresser who has been on the high street for forty years said he has seen several people fall outside his salon.

Errol Willy told CJS News: “It’s caused a lot of problems with people falling over, and there’s a big issue about it now, not just one or two. We’ve had numerous ones, and they’ve all been on CCTV cameras, so we can actually prove that it’s a big issue.”

He told CJS News that he’s concerned that it’s only a matter of time until there’s a serious injury: “It’s not good at all, it’s only a matter of time before there’s going to be a big accident here, in Cardiff or in particular, on this road.”

Jo has tried to rally up support on local groups as she wants to make the council aware of the problem pavements: “My mission is to make the council aware of the amount of people that have actually fallen and had serious accidents.”

In a Freedom of Information request, Wales Online found that between 2019 and May 2023, Cardiff Council paid out over £430,000 in compensation due to injuries caused by its roads and pavements.

The biggest pay out was £20,000.

CJS News reached out to Cardiff Council about the pavements in Roath, and a spokesperson said:

“In the UK, there is a national backlog of road repairs in the region of £12bn. The Council inspects the highway network in line with all legislation. (The Code of Practice for Highway Maintenance Management and the requirements of the Highways Act 1980). 

“The council uses the resources available to best effect by carrying out a variety of road works across the highway network including reconstruction, re-surfacing, surface patching and treatments as well as temporary repairs to potholes.

“Pot holes are repaired temporarily until a long term solution can be provided – which requires more extensive patching or resurfacing of the road.

“Legitimate compensations claims are settled by the local authority. Any claims which are deemed to be fraudulent are investigated with a view of taking the matter to court.”