Council workers put street light in middle of path

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IT’S a street light slalom that’s proving no walk in the park for parents with prams.

Clumsy council workers have been accused of ­creating an “obstacle course” for ­pushchairs and wheelchair users after a new path was laid around existing street lights at Inch Park.

Parents and carers are forced to dodge around the lampposts. Picture: Julie Bull

Parents and carers are forced to dodge around the lampposts. Picture: Julie Bull

Their blunder has resulted in lampposts running down the middle of the path, so people on bikes or with pushchairs have to manoeuvre around them.

The footpath was ­supposed to give pedestrians a safe way of walking to the new sports facilities and children’s play area.

But the pavement, which replaces a grass verge, has been mocked for leaving the lights in the way.

The design faux-pas has even forced workmen to insert lay-bys so anyone with four wheels can pass. Helen McBain often brings her grandchildren Carrie, aged 19 months, and Lori, three, to the park to use the play area.

She said the path looked “odd” with the street lights in the middle.

She said: “It does seem a bit silly. I think what makes it even more odd is that they have had to put in passing places which shows the problem.

“If they put the lampposts to one side then they wouldn’t have to go to the bother of putting in the lay-bys.

“I don’t understand the logic of having them in the middle of the path like that. I’ve never seen it anywhere else.”

A mum-of-two, who attends the parent and toddler group at Inch Community Centre, said people were shunning the pathway and using the road.

She said: “It’s all well and good putting the lay-by in so people can pass with their pushchair, but what about people with twins? I’ve seen a lot of people who are just using the road instead because it’s easier than going around, so it was probably safer when there wasn’t one.

“I think it’s yet another waste of money by the council. I don’t know who thought having lampposts in the middle of a path was a good idea. I suppose at least it is well lit, but it does look funny.”

Bill Cook, Labour councillor for Liberton/Gilmerton, said the park had long needed a path but he, like many, had been left disappointed.

He said community groups have questioned its design and criticised the poor access for wheelchair users.

“There has been a long-
running issue that we needed a path through the park so it was great news to hear it was being established.

“Then what we find is they have laid the path with lampposts running through it. It begs the question of what thought has gone into it.”

Disability campaigner George Lamb said the council had “applied no logical sense” to it.

A council spokesperson said: “When building the new path it was widened at this point to provide enough room for people to pass the existing lampposts.”

kate.pickles@edinburghnews.com