Petition: Marjorie Woodfield made a presentation to the councilbelieves it is only a matter of time before someone who uses a mobility scooter is either injured or killed due to the state of the footpaths and pathways in South west Rocks CONCERNS are being raised that the state of footpaths in South West Rocks is dangerous to people using mobility scooters and wheelchairs.
In a public forum presentation at the council meeting last Tuesday, (21.07.15), long-term South West Rocks local Majorie Woodfield told councillors she feared it was only a matter of time before an elderly resident was injured or killed.
“In early May I was pulled up by the police in South West Rocks because I was riding on the side of the road on my mobility scooter instead of on the footpath,” Ms Woodfield said.
“I know this is illegal but I explained to the officer that the entry onto the path is a death trap for my scooter because it’s short and steep.
“The police officer agreed with me and made the remark that the footpaths in South West Rocks are dangerous, and during the course of our discussion he suggested I get a petition to council to have the footpaths improved.
“On speaking to other members of the public I decided to do as he suggested and I submit a petition with 273 signatures from local people to get this improved.
“Many more people have also sent individual petitions to the council through the post.”
Ms Woodfield said as an elderly resident living at South West Rocks her independency relied on the use of her mobility scooter.
“I am extremely concerned about the condition and lack of maintenance to many footbaths and pathways in high pedestrian traffic areas in South West Rocks,” Ms Woodfield said.
“Many footpaths and pathways have become so unsafe to navigate for people in wheelchairs and mobility scooters and I have no doubt that serious injury will occur if action to rectify the problem is not undertaken.”
Kempsey Shire Council Infrastructure Services director Robert Scott acknowledged Ms Woodfield’s concerns and said there maybe a way to rectify the problem in the future.
“Certainly the list of areas where the current concerns are and what is available to us in terms of how it can work in with our maintenance program is something we might be able to address,” Mr Scott said.
“The corner of Gregory Street and Gordon Young Drive is an area that we have done some design and investigation work into because it does force some difficult manoeuvres for mobility scooters.”
Mr Scott said their maybe an opportunity to address the issue through the Pedestrian Access and Mobility Plan.
“There are two aspects to the plan,” Mr Scott said.
“One being, where are the demands in South West Rocks for pedestrian routes at the moment, and there is also an opportunity to look at where the existing infrastructure just doesn’t meet the needs due to the paths being too narrow.
“So I believe there is a good opportunity for us to strategically plan for the long term with the issues you have raised today.”
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