Newry Councillor highlights safety concerns for residents of Barcroft

Posted by
Thursday, February 1st, 2018
Community, Politics

Sinn Féin Councillor Liz Kimmins has urged for the safety of residents of Fifth Street in Barcroft Park, Newry, and says she continues to lobby the Department for Infrastructure on the need for steps to be installed on the street to allow those living there to safely access their vehicles.

Speaking to Newry Times, Cllr. Kimmins explained, “For a number of years now, I have been lobbying the NI Housing Executive on behalf of residents living at the end of the fifth street of Barcroft Park, for the erection of steps to allow these residents safe access to their cars.

“For over 40 years the residents have had to use the grass bank in front of their homes as a makeshift “pathway”.



“This has proven to be extremely hazardous, and unfortunately a few years ago, one elderly resident suffered a nasty fall here, resulting in a broken hip and tragically died later in hospital as a result of further complications.

“The resident’s daughter, who still lives here, has continued to fight for a set of steps to be put in place which would eliminate the risk of this ever happening again,” the local Councillor continued.

“The concerned residents have highlighted how in having to walk the long way to access their homes, they are expected to walk on the road and down the side of Doran’s Hill – which can be very challenging when carrying heavy items, shopping bags, and if they are having work done to their houses, workmen have to make longer trips back and forward.



“This is also particularly challenging for the elderly people living along here who have mobility issues and have no choice but to try and walk around the long way.

“I have met with NIHE over the last year, and they have indicated they would be in a position to provide a better walkway, however this is dependent on adoption by the Department for Infrastructure.

“Consequently, I raised this with Dept. for Infrastructure, who have responded this week stating they would not adopt the proposed steps, as it would not form ‘any logical link within the maintained road network that would be of general public benefit and would likely give rise to public liability issues.

Cllr. Kimmins added, “This response is hugely disappointing and unsatisfactory. The community in this area feel the steps most definitely would be of general public benefit.”



Chairperson of Barcroft Community Association, Darren Thompson expressed the anger and disappointment of the community, stating, “Barcroft Community Association have supported Cllr Kimmins’ long-standing endeavour to get these steps provided as a necessity for the health and safety of our residents.

“This is a quality of life issue, in particular for the more elderly and infirm residents who live on this side of the fifth street, and we would strongly endorse and support this call for a multi-agency meeting to sort out this deadlock.

Cllr. Kimmins added, “I will continue to lobby the Department on behalf of the residents to ensure public safety and will be requesting a site meeting with all relevant statutory agencies to meet with those residents who are directly affected to give them the opportunity to voice their concerns frankly and openly with those involved in the decision-making process.”



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