Access audit needed to address Knocknacarra wheelchair issues

A city councillor has called on the council to carry out an access audit in the Knocknacarra area as soon as possible so that funding could be made available to alleviate the problems being faced daily by wheelchair users, as well as parents with prams and buggies.

Galway City West councillor Donal Lyons raised the issue of access for people with special needs on roads and footpaths in the west of the city at a recent meeting of Galway City Council. He also formally wrote to the council requesting an urgent access audit to be carried out.

Speaking this week, Cllr Lyons explained: “I had been approached by a number of residents residing in estates off the Western Distributor Road and the roads and estates which are adjacent - Ballymoneen Road, Cappagh Road, Clybaun Road and Shangort Road. There are difficulties being encountered daily by wheelchair users who wish to use the bus, go to the local schools, attend church, go to Cappagh Park or go to the local shops.

“There is a serious lack of drop-down kerbs on the Western Distributor Road which causes great difficulties for wheelchair users wishing to cross this busy road. There is no drop down kerb on the An Leargan side of the road opposite the bus stop, nor is there on the approach to the bus stop and no bus shelter to accommodate wheelchair users to access the bus. Likewise there is a deficit of drop down paths on the Ballymoneen, Cappagh, Clybaun and Shangort Roads. In some instances while there has been an attempt to address drop down paths at entrance to Carrigeen, Bin Sin, Cill Cais and White Oaks they are still too high for wheelchair users.

“Since then I have had further representations from parents with buggies and prams who have outlined their difficulties as they try to push prams and buggies on the same roads which have little or no drop down kerbs. I have been informed that access is a major issue and I want it addressed as soon as possible,” said Cllr Lyons, who added that the access audit could pave the way for funding to be made available in next year’s city council budget for a phased programme of works to address these issues.

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