Still scuppered by steps! 92-year-old's wait for a ramp in Buckingham rumbles on

All Jim Jones wants to do is enjoy a leisurely stroll, wheeling his walking frame from Lace Hill to Tesco, and return with a newspaper.

Tuesday, 8th March 2016, 6:00 am
Jim Jones at the flight of steps

But more than a year after a slope was replaced with steps and despite numerous calls from councillors to build a ramp, Mr Jones, 92, is still waiting.

Originally, a temporary, sloped walkway gave him access from his Cotton End home in Buckingham onto London Road.

However, developers Barratt Homes quickly blocked it off and replaced it with steps, which makes the route a nightmare for anyone with limited mobility.

A ramp made life a lot easier

And to make things more challenging, frail Jim has recently spent five days in hospital with pneumonia.

Buckingham Town Council said this week it was ‘dismayed’ that the problem had not been remedied and it is now hoping for a ‘speedy resolution’.

Jim’s son, Ian, 64, who lives on the estate with his dad, said: “In his current condition, he wouldn’t be able to manage steps.

“But we hope he can get back to going to Tesco. We’ve been waiting – it’s been a long time.”

A ramp made life a lot easier

Robin Stuchbury, Bucks County Councillor for Buckingham West, is angry it has taken so long for a ramp to be installed.

Mr Stuchbury, whose wife relies on a wheelchair, said: “It’s been a terribly long time and the town council can’t understand why it has taken so long.

“He is 92 now. Their attitude is atrocious.”

Wheelchair-user Christine Strain-Clark, who heads up Buckingham and Winslow Access For All, said: “It’s so important to realise that everybody should have a right to get to the main road.

“Steps cut out certain people – it’s against the law to do that.”

A spokesman for Barratt Homes said officers were ‘considering installing an access ramp’.

But because the site is on ‘private property’, affected residents must be ‘properly consulted with’ before a decision is reached.