COUNCILLOR John O’Rourke has branded as “disgusting” the manner with which motorists and able-bodied people are showing blatant disregard for people with disabilities when it comes to obstructing footpaths in and around Enniscorthy.
Talking to the Enniscorthy Guardian, Cllr O'Rourke said he was contacted by a large number of people who have mobility issues who are finding their way blocked by cars parked up on the footpath or having other obstructions including shopping trolleys in their way.
"It’s a major issue for people who are wheelchair or mobility scooter users and also for the blind or people are partially blind," said Cllr O’Rourke.
"In some cases people have to literally get down off the footpath and step onto the road to get by whatever the obstacle is,” he added.
Parking a car on a footpath is illegal and Cllr O’Rourke said the amount of cars parked illegally around the town “is crazy” and he said the people who engage in such activity have no regard at all for people with disabilities.
However, even for older people whose mobility might not be as good as it used to be such obstructions can cause great inconvenience.
"It’s just scandalous to see people parking their cars on footpaths and across junctions,” said Cllr O’Rourke.
“It hinders people who rely on the footpath to keep them safe and to be honest I think it’s atrocious especially with the amount of parking available around the town,” he added.
He also said people parking in disabled parking bays without the appropriate blue badge being displayed on their vehicles is another issue.
“Some people just seem to have no regard at all for people who really do need those disability spaces," he said.
"People have come to me who do have the blue disabled parking badges who say they can’t access the parking spaces they are entitled to and that’s just not right,” added Cllr O’Rourke.
“I think it's about time people realised that there are people out there who genuinely need those spaces and need to have access to them and also, at the end of the day, people should be able to walk on the footpath without having an obstruction in their way.”
He said the Moran Park area of the town was a particular black spot for such behaviour but other areas of the town are also affected.
"Another issue is the amount of discarded shopping trolleys around the town and some of them are just left on the footpath too and wheelchair users or people who are blind or partially blind have to try and get around them and that's just not acceptable in this day and age,” said Cllr O’Rourke.
He said a lot of people have contacted him about difficulties they have experienced while trying to go along footpaths in the town.