Council defends cutting disabled parking spaces.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

THE removal of disabled parking bays beside the toilets in Banbridge is not just to make way for planters and seats, council has said.

Local residents accused council of "a lack of common sense" after the disabled parking bays were reduced from three to one and seats installed outside the Kenlis Street amenities.

However a spokesman for Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council says the decision to cut the disabled parking was not for appearance reasons but to meet new standards.

"The dimensions of these spaces no longer met new standards for disabled parking bays and were required to be redesigned to meet regulations." With the increased number of people in the area due to the new bus station, passenger safety was another consideration.

"The parking spaces were at a right angle to the vehicle access road into the Iceland car park, which meant that parked vehicles had to reverse out of each space onto the roadway.

"As a result of the development of the bus station and increased numbers of pedestrians in the area, especially large numbers of school children, there were health and safety issues around reversing vehicles and pedestrians which had to be addressed.

The new space was designed to allow parallel parking and clearer sight lines for manoeuvring a vehicle." The council will now look at whether additional disabled spaces are needed.

"It must be emphasised that the spaces were not removed to make way for planters, the reconfiguration was necessary as outlined. We can also confirm that the car park at Iceland is in private ownership and the council has no authority over it.

"The public realm works at Kenlis Street and Poplar Row were approved by the legacy Banbridge Council to enhance the area in and around the new bus station.

With increased numbers of pedestrians in the area as a result of the bus station, the council was keen to deliver a scheme which would make the area more attractive for visitors to the town arriving by bus and safer for those using the bus facility during daytime and night time.

"The scheme includes new pavement treatments, lighting, decorative features, planting and seating," said a council spokesperson


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