Fallen autumn leaves spark safety concerns

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The annual shedding of autum leaves along one of Derry’s most popular riverside walkways has created a ‘big hazard’ for local pedestrians, runners and cyclists, according to Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Karen Mullan, who has contacted Transport NI and Derry City and Strabane District Council to ask them to look at ways of resolving the issue

Ms. Mullan said vast amounts of leaves have fallen along the riverside walkway between the Foyle Valley Railway Station, Coshowen and the area around Foyle Park, and that it has become very slippery under foot as a result.

She said: “Over the past few days I have been contacted by residents of Foyle Park and also by walkers and runners who would use the riverside walkway on a daily basis, about the dangers presented by the large amount of leaves along the pathways.”

Ms. Mullan said that while the seasonal phenomenon is picturesque it also presents a health and safety risk.

“Whilst at this time of the year it can be beautiful to see the all the fallen leaves across our green spaces, it can also bring a big hazard. The complaints I have received, is the fear that anyone using the walkways or footpaths in the area could have a nasty fall slipping on wet leaves,” said the Foyle Sinn Féin MLA.

She said she realised there are limits to what the local authorities can do to tackle the problem.

“I know it’s impossible to cover the entire city in clearing leaves but I believe in areas which see a large footfall of people Transport NI and the DCSDC must endeavour to make them as safe as possible.”