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Campaigner: 'I'll paint warnings on dangerous paving in Witney'
A MAN who offered to paint pavement trip hazards yellow was warned that he faced prosecution if he did.
Adrian Taylor, 67, of Eynsham, has fought a two-year battle to improve pavements in Witney.
He says he was so sick of the state of the pavements along the High Street that he told Oxfordshire County Council he would get out his brush and paint and mark protruding slabs.
But he says the authority, which is responsible for highways, told him he may face prosecution if he carries out the work.
He said he had counted 73 slabs along the pavement, between Market Square and Welch Way, that were protruding.
Mr Taylor has been a frequent letter-writer to the Oxford Mail on the subject and this has resulted in him being contacted by about 530 people supporting his one-man battle.
The great-grandfather said: “I would say it is one of the worst pavements I have ever seen.
“If anyone who is not completely together – the elderly, infirm or children running – walks along the High Street there is a chance of them tripping.”
Mr Taylor, who walks with a stick after suffering a stroke in 2001, added: “I spent 44 years in the building industry before I had a stroke.
“I have got high standards in life and it annoys me when I see things that have been done like that.”
Mr Taylor started his campaign after tripping up himself in the High Street two years ago.
He said: “I wrote to the Oxford Mail about it and it escalated from there.
“I contacted the councils and they weren’t very helpful. I know money is tight, but they could end up needing to settle damages if people carry on getting injured along there. I said I would go along one weekend when it was quiet and paint yellow paint on the protruding edges of the slabs so people can see them.
“They said if I do that they will prosecute me because it’s breaking the law.”
Mr Taylor ran a 1,000-man strong building firm and worked on the West Oxfordshire District Council offices in Woodgreen.
He added: “The council should lift all the slabs that are protruding along High Street and relay them so they’re level with surrounding ones. It’s quite a small job.”
He estimated that the work would cost about £4,000 to £5,000 to complete.
The county council said it was an offence for an unauthorised person to mark or deposit items on the highway. It is considered vandalism and carries a fixed penalty.
A spokesman added: “We rely mainly on people reporting their concerns regarding this area and the council would like to thank Mr Taylor for doing so.
“A local highways representative would be happy to walk around Witney town centre with him to explain our procedures when it comes to pavements.”
He said there are no current plans to replace High Street paving.
The county spent £40,000 repaving Market Square in Witney last month.
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