A NEW Cumnock woman is blaming ‘inconsiderate’ roadworks after she fell onto a busy road.

Chris Simm, 59, got a nasty fright when she hit the ground in the middle of a crowded Townhead street last week.

She insists she couldn’t see the road properly because of temporary traffic lights that blocked the view making the area ‘unsafe’.

The building engineer claims she was forced to take a gamble and tried to hurry across the road when she fell and skint her hands and knees.

Now she wants to thank a heavily tattooed man and helpful opticians who rushed to her aid.

Chris said:“I had a fall in Cumnock.

“I was having difficulty figuring out where and how to cross the road, as a pedestrian, whilst roadworks and contra-flow, temporary traffic lights etc were all in place for motorists.

“A tractor was manoeuvring it’s way back into the roadworks, and as far as we could see there was no provision for pedestrians at that very busy junction.

“We watched as the tractor rounded into the roadworks, and saw that it was safe to go whilst he blocked further traffic.

“In our haste to get across at that moment and without the aid and safety of a crossing, I tripped and fell, flat out.

“I was instantly grateful for landing on my hands and knees, and not my head.

“Passers by and staff from Shaws Opticians came to our aid and helped me to my feet, provided me with a seat and a drink, sticking plaster, and sympathy, whilst I gathered myself together.

“My heartfelt thanks to the kind man with the beard and tattoos who helped me up to my feet.

“He was the kind of guy you might think wouldn’t stop but he was first there I’m so thankful for him and the caring and responsive staff at Shaws for their care.

“There are lots of elderly people walking about in Cumnock and so I think the road works are inconsiderate.

“It worried me that a car may be coming, so I did get a bit of a fright.

“So, to the roads department and contractors on a very busy street with many vulnerable pedestrians, perhaps a little more care about how pedestrians are affected by your arrangements, would be appropriate?”

Local businesses have also hit out over the roadworks with one owner even claiming they are hurting his business.

He said: “People are put off coming near the place because of those roadworks it’s terrible, I think I have lost about 25 per cent of my sales because of them and the shop next door is even worse.”

East Ayrshire Council said in response to an enquiry from the Cumnock Chronicle, Kevin Braidwood, Operations Manager, ARA said: “We have carried a site visit which confirmed that the work being undertaken by Hamilton Tarmac was actually on the opposite footway to where the lady fell.

“Our inspection showed that the site was being managed in a safe and appropriate manner and barriers and signage prevented anyone from accessing the area concerned.

“ We were sorry to learn that a member of the public was injured.

“However the lady’s fall was witnessed by a Crossing Patroller who confirmed that the most likely cause of the fall was either catching her own stick on the kerb or tripping over it.

“There was no apparent link between her fall and the works across the road and she got up and continued about her business.

“She has not approached us with any complaint.”