THE owner and tenant of a Peisley Street building are calling for Orange City Council to repair the bluestone guttering before more pedestrians are injured when they fall while trying to step up at least 35 centimetres on to the footpath.
Bradley’s Florist owner Sally Wright said she has seen elderly customers struggling up the step only to have the asphalt surface crumble beneath them.
“One man rolled his ankle and another lady cut all her lip,” she said.
“It is a joke, it’s an absolute disgrace.
“A lot of older customers have to get out of their car and walk down along the traffic to get into my shop.”
The building’s owner Robert Ristvej wrote to the council in June but is yet to receive a response.
When they finally got in contact with the council the pair was told the bluestone gutter was a heritage item.
But a council worker who inspected the area two months ago, after persistent phone calls, told them cement used to fill the gap between the road and the gutter voided the heritage worth of the bluestone.
“The bluestone is so damaged it’s not original any more,” Mr Ristvej said.
“There’s a lot of bluestone in Orange but none that’s so high.”
Council spokesman Allan Reeder said the bluestone gutters were an important part of the streetscape.
“They are a heritage item so there would have to be a very good reason to take them away,” he said.
“There are a couple of things that can be done ... the first step is a closer assessment of the footpath itself.”
Mr Ristvej said he is disappointed he pays rates as high as businesses in Summer Street despite not receiving the same level of service.
“As far as council is concerned the world ceases to exist off Summer Street,” he said.
Ms Wright agrees.
“Because it’s in Peisley Street no-one cares,” she said.
“But it has to be the busiest street now that the bypass has gone in.”
Both would like to see council strip the asphalt from the footpath to lower the step-up and repair the crumbling edges.
Like many drivers who have parked along the street, Mr Ristvej has damaged his car on the unusually high footpath.
Ms Wright said she regularly hears the crunch of cars scraping onto the bitumen when they reverse park taking chunks of asphalt off the edge of the footpath.
“The footpath is higher than the floor of the shop,” she said.
“I’ve been here six years and no-one has ever come ... I don’t think they’ll do anything.”
Mr Reeder said the inspection from council staff found the footpath to be in fairly good condition but layers of asphalt had added to the height of the gutter.