Visually-impaired broadcaster tells of his pedestrian crossing nightmare

Visually-impaired broadcaster tells of his pedestrian crossing nightmare

A VISUALLY-impaired resident of Castlebar has issued an urgent call to Mayo County Council to repair the electronic push-button controls on the pedestrian crossing at the traffic lights at the Linenhall Street, Main Street and Rush Street junction in the county town.

Dublin-native Paul Halligan, a broadcaster with Community Radio Castlebar (CRCfm) and Westport Community Radio, told The Connaught Telegraph the system has not been working for over three weeks. . .making life very difficult for members of the public trying to cross.

He stated: “Because of my visual impairment, the situation is particularly worrying and frustrating for me and additionally so when my two young children are with me.

“In effect, the push button to indicate that a pedestrian wants to cross does not work and has not done so for some time. 

“So I have to wait there until a kind person tells me it's okay to cross or call to somebody on the opposite side of the road to ask them to press the button.

“While the bleeper system still works, I am fearful that visually impaired people, the elderly and parents with children are being placed at undue risk at the location because the system is not working properly.

“Motorists have also told me that their vision is often impaired there due to the sun getting in their eyes and they can't be certain when the lights change to green or red at the Lucan Street side of the junction.

“It is very unsatisfactory and I felt obliged to highlight the matter because of my fear that a pedestrian will be seriously injured at the crossing unless repair works are carried out.

“It's a huge health and safety issue for people like me. I can't understand why it has been left that way for so long.â€

Mr. Halligan, who runs a popular website called 'storybud.org', said there are problems with other pedestrian crossings in Castlebar, but the Linenhall Street one is the most urgent.

“For example, crossing the N5 into Chestnut Grove is a complete nightmare. It's hard to believe thet visually impaired people have to cope with such conditions 30 or so years after the Year of the Disabled when so many commitments were made,†he added.

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