Disability action group stage a protest in Naas about a year ago
Changes need to be made to the Naas streetscape to provide easier access for people with disabilities and older people.
That’s the view of the Naas Access and Disability Group, a voluntary organisation which campaigns to create awareness about the difficulties faced by people with disabilities.
Group member Bill Clear criticised the positioning of a disability parking space outside the Bank of Ireland in Naas because a venue like this attracts a lot of visits, many of them brief, and so risk of someone using the space without permission is greater, he claims.
He told a recent Naas Municipal District meeting that the position of the space means that sometimes wheelchair users alight from a vehicle on to the edge of the street with traffic moving past. He also said that the space outside Meadows & Byrne could be better located. In general it should be easier for someone with a disability to access the footpath.
He suggested that a space should be provided outside Kavanagh’s pub.
There was also criticism of Basin Street because the sign indicating a left turn on to the main street should be relocated from there to Basin Street. Mr Clear also said that the footpaths on Basin Street are hazardous for wheelchair users. He also criticised the positioning of ESB poles there. However Cllr Anne Breen opposed moving the space at the Bank of Ireland because it is regularly used.
Majella O’Keefe of NADG said the group wants to make Naas one of the most accessible-friendly towns in Ireland. Some 13% of the population in Co. Kildare has a disability and 35% of the Co. Kildare population are aged over 65. It’s also estimated that 50% of a population will need a mobility aid in their lifetime.