Footpath frustration

Footpath frustration

The Mount Gambier and District Residents and Ratepayers Association has taken aim at the Mount Gambier City Council over the condition of footpaths in the region.

Association chairperson Di Ind said the group had received many complaints and photographs about the condition and provision of footpaths, pedestrian crossovers and driveway crossovers in the city, as well as the “lack of action by council”.

“Many of these complaints have been from people with mobility problems and our more senior residents,” Ms Ind said.

“The Mount Gambier City Council has a specific policy with regard to this issue.”

Ms Ind highlighted concerns that costs of these repairs lies with council.

“However in many cases council routine bitumen driveway crossover repairs are not being repaired in a timely manner,” she said.

“This results in progressive degradation requiring major reconstruction.

“This lack of maintenance by council, as outlined in this policy, then shifts costs of these repairs to the homeowner. Not only are the financial burdens shifted to homeowners, but they also pose risks to pedestrians, particularly the elderly and mobility impaired.

“Concerns of apparent poor planning such as the laying of footpaths without crossover points is another issue that has been raised.”

Ms Ind said she had highlighted this at a recent meeting of the association citing this as “an example of poor planning”.

“I am concerned that despite all the time and expense to lay this footpath, which is a major link to the bus route, council has completely ignored crossovers for pedestrians,” she said.

“Not only is this a safety issue but think of the difficulty for people with mobility scooters or walking aids. These people have no option but to use the road to navigate the intersection. This is just one example of many around town. It appears to be seriously at odds with council’s own Disability Access and Inclusion Plan.”

Ms Ind said photographs presented at a recent association meeting “highlighted the deplorable state of many bus stops around town”.

“Council has responsibility for infrastructure with regard to public transport,” she said.

“The meeting was presented with numerous examples of unsafe, illegal or poorly maintained bus stops. One example was given where the bus stop was actually on the corner of an intersection which not only is illegal, but unsafe.

“This is a widespread problem throughout town. Council has advocated for changes to public transport with the State Government, but continually fails to meet its own legal obligations with regard to public transport.

“It would appear, in the examples provided to the association, that placement of signage, stops and maintenance and safety are all areas of concern. The issues around bus stops need a complete review and development of a plan for upgrade.”

Council’s City Infrastructure General Manager Barbara Cernovskis said the association had not contacted council about the matters raised.

“However, we welcome an opportunity to discuss these issues with them should they make contact with us,” she said.

“Council has undertaken audits and master planning work on our roads, footpaths, bus shelters etc throughout the city.

“Recommendations will be considered and included in council’s Asset Management Plans and will inform council’s future work plans.”

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