A bridge too far for disabled and mums?

A bridge too far
A bridge too far

FEARS have been expressed that work meant to improve safety on Kirkfieldbank’s Dublin Bridge has cut off one half of the village from the other for wheelchair-users and mums with prams.

Recent council work on the small crossing on the busy A72 Clyde Valley Road included safety guardrails being put up along the already narrow pavement over the bridge to keep pedestrians and traffic apart.

However well-intentioned this was, there are now fears that the railings have made the pavement impassable for anyone using a disabled mobile chair or buggy, or mums with two-child ‘double prams’.

After approaches from fellow villagers, well-known local road safety campaigner Julia Marrs has now raised the matter with the council, but is dissatisfied with assurances there is still enough clearance for such users.

She said: “The new pavement, whilst wider than in the past, has a reduced width due to the railing being installed. Although I understand this is a safety feature, its presence will make it impossible for residents using large pushchairs, particularly double pushchairs, mobility scooters or wheelchairs to pass. Taking pushchairs or mobility aids onto the road to pass would be very dangerous. Residents would be effectively marooned on one side of the village or forced to use the local bus to simply pass from one end of Kirkfieldbank to the other.”

A council official said: “We have attempted to make this route as accessible as possible to accord with modern mobility standards in respect of pedestrians and standard wheelchairs.

“Improvements at this location represent a much safer environment than that previously and further widening of the bridge/footway would not be practical.

“The great majority of mobility scooters available on the UK market have an overall width dimension which is less than the available width at Dublin Bridge.”