UNEVEN city centre pavements have attracted criticism from residents who fear someone could become “seriously injured”.

Castle ward councillor Steph Nissen said the walkways at the heart of Colchester have fallen into a “shocking state”.

And Colchester resident Sebastian Thornton warned of a colleague fracturing his ankle after falling over a loose slab.

An Essex Highways spokesman insisted its workers have to prioritise work due to resource availability.

Gazette: Uneven - some of the slabs wobble as you walk on themUneven - some of the slabs wobble as you walk on them (Image: Newsquest)

It follows County Hall pledging an extra £3million for highway maintenance last week as it launches its spring programme to tackle defects.

Ms Nissen said: “My big worry is someone is going to fall and they are not going to get up again. If we can prevent a death or a serious injury then we should.

“The state of the pavements is absolutely shocking, but one of the frustrations is we can’t go out there and fix it ourselves.”

The concerned councillor said a town hall colleague was left concussed after tripping on a pothole, while she was told of a man who had to be airlifted after falling on a broken paving slab in the Dutch Quarter.

Gazette: Safety concerns - Colchester High StreetSafety concerns - Colchester High Street (Image: Newsquest)

“If someone dies then central Government is going to have blood on its hands for not allocating enough funding to see the works through,” added Ms Nissen.

Her fears have been echoed by Mr Thornton, who cited Headgate and Vineyard Street as particularly bad spots for loose pavement.

“When I go into town I have to watch where I walk because of the pavements. It shouldn’t be like that and it is not fair,” he said.

“There is a lot of money in this town but its pavements and roads seem to have nothing going on.”

Gazette: Fed up - Castle ward councillor Steph NissenFed up - Castle ward councillor Steph Nissen (Image: Newsquest)

He added: “I have argued the roads are not designed with holes in them so why is there a set criteria for how bad they are allowed to get before they are fixed?"

The Essex Highways spokesman said: "In order to maximise our resources, we have to prioritise our work and fix the most urgent issues first.

"All defects reported to us are assessed by an inspector and prioritised accordingly."

He added residents can report a pavement issue online.