A man in a wheelchair with an amputated leg has called out ‘soul destroying’ pavement parking on Chesham streets. 

Elliott Rodgers was left wheelchair reliant after his left leg was amputated underneath the knee last November after complications following the aftermath of an accident, when he slipped on black ice and shattered his ankle in 2010.

Despite his previous bad experiences navigating illegally parked cars on Alexander Street, he needed to get to the shop. 

He told of his ordeal on May 18 after posting in OurChesham Facebook group to vent his frustration: “I was going to be independent and get some milk, and the shop is only 100 meters away.

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“Two people had parked on a dropped kerb, so I had to go into incoming traffic.

“I’m about the height of a friend’s nine-year-old when I’m in the wheelchair, you’re not easy to see. So if you’re moving around parked cars, and you’re the height of a nine-year-old, it doesn’t take a genius to work out how wrong that could go.

“It’s soul destroying, I want a bit of independence, to go down to the shop, is it too much to ask?”

When he managed to get across Broad Street, bin bags left outside a house partially blocked the dropped kerb (picture 3).

This meant he was unable to swivel onto the pavement safely, and was worried he would be "catapulted out in the middle of the road”. 

“I was at an angle, and every time I tried to move myself, I was getting at more and more of an angle towards the traffic.

“When I tried to move myself I was dipping further and further towards the traffic.”

Eventually, a woman from a nearby pharmacy saw what was happening, and pushed Mr Rodgers past the bin bags.  

In January, he smashed the amputated stump, broke four ribs and hurt his hand trying to protect his face after he was sent flying from his wheelchair, when a wheel went off the kerb. 

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On the journey back from the shop, his wheels got stuck on uneven pavement caused by road works.

Another passer-by stopped to help him, and pushed the 49-year-old back to his building.

He said: “I don’t go out a lot at the moment, because the wheelchair is challenging but, when I try and get a little bit of independence, chaos reigns."

Parking on his road, Alexander Street, is often a problem, especially for the couple of people who use wheelchairs in his block of flats, he said.

When he sees cars blocking the pavement “a tiny bit of your soul dies.”

“I can’t go now unless I wheel into the traffic, and Alexander Street has a slight hill.

“If my hands slip on the wheels, I’m going straight down to Broad Street.

“I’m not saying people shouldn’t park. I’m just saying be aware. Wheelchair users, push chair users and others need to use the footpath. Especially don’t park on a dropped kerb." 

Gareth Williams, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment commented: “We are sorry to hear of the issues experienced and for the inconvenience and distress the situation has caused.

“Our Civil Parking Enforcement Officers patrol the area on a regular basis and if a vehicle is seen to be abusing a parking restriction, a Penalty Charge Notice is issued. We’ll keep monitoring the area and enhance enforcement to try to resolve the issue.

Mr Williams thanked Elliott Rodgers for raising the issue, and encouraged anyone aware of abuse to report it on the Bucks Council website.

He added: “We also want to remind that all waste should be contained within the container provided by the Council, and any waste left on the side breaches Buckinghamshire Council’s waste collection policy and will not be collected as part of normal waste collections. We will contact the property to re-affirm the waste collection policy to avoid further issues in the area.”