Slippery Castle Gate response ‘disappointing’

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SDLP Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan has expressed disappointment at the response by Transport NI to his request to look into safety aspects of the flagstones around Castle Gate.

Mr Durkan contacted the Department last August about the “particularly dangerous” surface under Castle Gate, off Castle Street in the City.

HE said he had received complaints that “it is extremely slippy underfoot and a hazard particularly in wet weather”.

Transport NI have responded stating: “This paving was laid as part of an environmental improvement scheme funded, procured and supervised by Department for Social Development (now Dept. for Communities). DfC inform me that at the time of laying the paving conformed with all the required standards including friction resistance tests.

“Of course paving can wear with time and usage and this may be the case at this location. Unfortunately, with budgets being the way they are, we are currently operating a limited service and only defects that meet particular standards are being repaired.

“The paving at Castle Gate would not comply with the limited service criteria. Therefore I am unable to be of assistance at this time.’

Reacting to this, Mr Durkan said: “Their response is extremely disappointing but not surprising given the current impact of the stalemate at Stormont on Departmental budgets and their ability to carry out their functions.

“Meanwhile I would ask people to take extra care in this area and I will continue to press this issue,” the Foyle MLA added.