Calls have been made for the government to take action over the “slippery” surface in Derry’s busiest pedestrian street in the city centre.
Sinn Féin Councillor Colly Kelly has urged the Department For Regional Development and Transport NI to review the surface of a number of footpaths around the commercial hub of New Market Street, Linenhall Street, and Orchard Street.
“I have received a number of complaints about the slippery surface of the footpaths in these areas, the latest being this week when a fella had a lucky escape when the ground went from under him as he went down Linenhall Street. He had to grab a railing to save his fall and prevent injury,” Colr. Kelly said.
“There seems to be a specific problem with the surface and gradient of the footpaths with even the slightest bit of rain, leaves or ice bringing dangers. It’s not unusual to see shoppers having to hold onto someone to navigate the footpaths in and around St Columb’s Hall, across the street in around Foyleside and up at the top, if walking through Ferryquay gate.
“I am calling on DRD/Transport NI to carry out a review of the surfaces. If there needs to a new surface put down then that should happen as a matter of urgency. In the next few weeks there will be thousands of people going through this area and the last thing we want to see if anyone falling and getting an injury coming up to Christmas.”
The DRD had initially said that the matter should be referred to the Department for Social Development, with a DSD spokesperson responding: “All three streets referred to are not owned by DSD. The Department carried out a Public Realm scheme on Orchard Street over 15 years ago and on Linenhall Street and Newmarket Street in 2008. All schemes were adopted by the Department for Regional Development and, as such, they are responsible for carrying out safety inspections.”
The DRD have yet to come back with a further response.