14 Aug 2022

Dundalk councillor says it is "unacceptable" some parklets are inaccessible to wheelchair users

Dundalk councillor says  it is "unacceptable" some parklets are inaccessible to wheelchair users

Independent Councillor Maeve Yore

Councillor Maeve Yore has said it is unacceptable that some parklets in town are inaccessible to wheelchair users.

The Independent councillor told the local authority that it was not acceptable that an outdoor dining initiative has been rolled out without taking into consideration wheelchair users, people with mobility issues and people who are visually impaired.

Some parklets in town can't be accessed by wheelchair users and people with children in buggies and Cllr Yore called for the situation to be rectified.

Cllr Yore, speaking at last week's Dundalk Municipal District meeting, said: "It is unacceptable that some parklets are inaccessible to wheelchair users.

"I find it incredulous in May 2021 that I am still highlighting issues of inaccessibility for people with disabilities in Louth.

"We have to take accessibility seriously in our county.

"It is unacceptable that some parklets are inaccessible to people in wheelchairs, people visually impaired and people with buggies.

"I want solutions to the parklets being inaccessible for some people.

"When putting anything into our towns across our county all people and all abilities should be considered.

"I am really upset about it."

Louth County Council Senior Engineer Mark Johnston said that a plate has already been fitted to the parklet in Blackrock and he said he would raise the issue with the Dundalk BIDS Manager.

"The parklets are designed and built to suit a standard curb, they are not made for a specific location", he said.

"Some of the curbs are different heights so you get a step formed which makes it difficult for a wheelchair to get into some parklets.

"It needs a plate so wheelchairs and prams can easily get into the parklet.

"The parklet in Blackrock already has a plate fitted and it needs to be done on some of them in Dundalk.

"I will take it up with BIDS who are rolling them out."

Cllr Yore, in response, said she wanted a resolution to the ones already installed but going forward there has to be consideration for people with disabilities, mobility issues and visually impaired when further parklets are rolled out.

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