Playcentre seeks footpath upgrade

Right around the bend . . . Balclutha Playcentre mums and children walk on the unpaved side of Lowestoft St near State Highway 1. PHOTO: NICK BROOK

Balclutha Playcentre families have joined with homeowners in requesting an upgrade of the footpath in Lowestoft St.

Users complain the uneven, gravelly road verge is slippery and unfriendly to prams and leads to pedestrians walking on the road itself, introducing another set of hazards.

‘‘The gravel coming down to playcentre sucks,’’ playcentre mum Kellie Dobson said.

‘‘When it rains, you slip on the mud and it’s not great for pram wheels.

‘‘Walking on the road makes it easier — not ideal as cars come round the corner very fast.’’

Lowestoft and Newarp Sts are often used by drivers bypassing the Hasborough Pl and Clyde St junction travelling to and from Kaitangata.

Lowestoft St resident Tony Gold said he was concerned he would one day find himself calling emergency services to an incident in the street.

‘‘[Parents] are often two-abreast on the road as cars come round the corner. We’re observing it more in winter and it gets more complex when the wheelie-bin truck comes.

‘‘There are six houses on the paved south side but 17 on the unpaved side and many of us are getting on in age including one lady who’s over 100. So it’s older residents at risk of the hazard underfoot along with the mums and kids,’’ Mr Gold said.

The concerns were received by Clutha District Council on November 21 last year.

‘‘The north side of Lowestoft St, at 7m wide with vehicle traffic of 250 vehicles a day, does not qualify for a footpath on both sides under council’s footpath policy.

‘‘However, there is an option for this to reviewed,’’ a council spokesperson said.

‘‘At the meeting on 18 May, council agreed to the recommendation for staff to obtain better data regarding this request. Any decision on whether to upgrade the footpath would be considered after this information is considered.’’

Balclutha Playcentre lead educator Alana Jamieson was hopeful the council’s consideration would have a safety-focused outcome.

‘‘It’s too narrow for a pram and an older child to walk alongside, so you end up on the road with the toddler on the path,’’ she said.

‘‘I came here 10 years ago and it was like it then.’’