THE rise in people using e-scooters in Clonakilty is causing problems for people with disabilities.
In recent times there has been a huge increase of people seen riding bicycles, skateboards and e-scooters on the town’s footpaths, according to Clonakilty Access Group.
‘Over the last couple of weeks, several people have contacted the group highlighting this problem including people who have had “near misses” on footpaths as bicycles and scooters fly past them, missing them by inches,’ said a spokesperson for the group.
The group says that a potentially serious accident is waiting to happen as these are often travelling at speed.
Even before the recent increase of the problem, the access group raised the matter with local gardaí at a meeting in April, and they have been in contact again requesting more Garda visibility to deter the problem and speak with people to raise awareness.
They have also posted an appeal on their Facebook page.
‘It has to be stated here that riding bikes, e-scooters or any other item on top of footpath surfaces, is totally illegal.
‘They are very dangerous for other footpath-users, but in particular for the elderly, less-mobile and poorly-sighted. Bikes and scooters are very often being “driven” at speeds whereby the ‘operators’ have no hope of stopping safely in the event of something suddenly appearing in front of them.
‘The situation has got worse in recent time and will probably get worse again with school holidays coming up, as we often observe young teenagers on e-scooters and bikes on the footpaths of Clonakilty.
‘But there are also adults regularly cycling on the footpaths as they take short cuts through the town instead of using the one-way traffic system in Clonakilty, which they should by law.’
The group are appealing to parents of youngsters in particular.
‘If your son/daughter uses a bike, skateboard or e-scooter in town, please ask them to never, ever ride it on footpaths.
‘We just want to ensure that no one – but in particular an elderly, less-mobile or visually-impaired person is injured or traumatised by someone on a bike, skateboard or e-scooter colliding into them.
‘We want safe footpaths for all.’
They’re encouraging anyone who witnesses an issue to contact gardaí.