‘Nightmare’ footpath concern

RESIDENTS on Ferrers Street in the city centre have called on Mount Gambier City Council to tidy up an overgrown bitumen footpath.

UNSAFE: Ferrers Street resident Joan Cooper believes the bitumen footpath on the western side of her street is unsafe, particularly for elderly residents. Picture: BRITTANY DENTON

Joan Cooper and Betty Poulton have described the uneven footpath as “unsafe” and a “nightmare” for senior residents.

Ms Cooper said when she raised the issue with council she was unhappy with council’s “insensitive” response.

“I thought it would be great to cut the grass back,” Ms Cooper told The Border Watch this week.

“It is only a gravel path but at least it was all one level – now you have one foot on the gravel and one foot on the grass and it’s not steady.

“I called council and felt like I was not listened to – the lady I spoke with said the grass verge before the path belongs to the home owners, which I understand, but I do not see why council cannot remove the grass that has grown over the path itself.”

Ms Poulton said she avoided using the footpath entirely.

“It’s a nightmare – I go to Hawkins Clinic quite regularly and to get there I have to go down Gwendoline Street, up Bay Road and down past the RSL because I cannot use the footpath on my own street,” she said.

“I’m blind so this is not easy.

“The paths on one side are too narrow and on the other side it’s almost worse because the trees are too low hanging.

“As far as I’m concerned, Ferrers Street is one of the nicest streets in the Mount, we pay big rates and we deserve better.”

City infrastructure manager Nick Serle explained the grass verge on Ferrers Street was Crown land and consequently council did not maintain the grass in the area.

“Council has responsibility for maintaining any assets such as footpaths that are constructed on Crown land by council,” Mr Serle said.

“In the case of Ferrers Street, council has constructed a new concrete footpath on the eastern side.

“Once the concrete footpath on the eastern side is completed the bitumen footpath on the western side will be removed.”

Mr Serle said if grass on Crown land was not taken care of by the adjacent resident, council would periodically poison weeds and grass as required.

“Council has never cut grass that is between the resident’s boundary and the roadway,” he said.

“While council encourages residents to maintain these areas themselves, council appreciates the aesthetic value of having well maintained grass in these areas and does maintain the grass when adjacent to council owned land such as reserves and parks.

“The vast majority of residents in the city do an excellent job of maintaining these areas.”