Report highlights pitfalls for town’s wheelchair users

John Morgan seated with from left Cormack Woods  Centre Manager Sen Mary MOran Tanya Murphy  and  Seamus O GRady

John Morgan seated with from left Cormack Woods Centre Manager Sen Mary MOran Tanya Murphy and Seamus O GRady

A report undertaken into how accessible Dundalk has raised another a number for wheelchair users and the elderly around the town with regards to its accessibility.

The study was carried out by John Morgan, himself a wheelchair user from Dundalk, along with his colleague Seamus O’Grady.

They conducted a survey of the main streets in the town using the Market Square as their starting point.

The report notes major difficulties with certain spots around the town centre, though other .areas that came in for criticism included the Market Street to Bachelors Walk , “There are six off 175mm paving gullies on this section which cause discomfort to one’s neck when crossing and contributes to the wear of the wheelchair.”

Meanwhile a junction in the Bachelors Walk to Yorke Street area was described thus:

“The junction of Yorke Street and Church Street at Byrnes Pharmacy is in a deplorable state not only is there a height difference of 25mm at the pharmacy side of the street but the road surface has deteriorated considerably.

“While at this junction we witnessed an elderly lady finding it very difficult to cross the road surface and then lift her push shopping bag onto the footpath.”

Meanwhile the disabled car parking space outside the Post Office is described as making it “totally impossible for the wheelchair passenger or driver to transfer safely from the car to the footpath without assistance.”

Labour Senator Mary Moran praised the accessibility study at the launch.

“This is an extensive and detailed study which highlights areas in Dundalk town which have poor accessibility for wheelchair users, the elderly, those with sensory difficulties and people with buggies.

“ It also highlights the areas in town which the study find are easy to access.

“Louth is an ‘age friendly’ county - therefore I think we need to also address the restrictions that wheelchair users and the elderly can endure on a daily basis in the town .

“ I have now written to the director of services and the town engineer seeking an immediate meeting to discuss the findings of John’s report. I would hope that the meeting will be scheduled as soon as possible.

“Many of the recommendations in the report would cost little or no money to implement but would make a huge difference to people with reduced mobility.

“For the past two years I have been honoured to present the Louth Council Access Awards and commend the many businesses and workplaces who have improved their accessibility.

Senator Moran concluded by saying: “In recent weeks I have also written to the Director of Services regarding seating arrangements for wheelchair users in the town hall along with the inaccessibility of the disabled toilet on the ground floor. I will continue to actively seek to have accessibility improved for our town.


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