Lengthy delays in providing dropped kerbs for locals who need them in Fife could be a human rights issue, it has been claimed.
The suggestion comes after it emerged a Tayport woman has been waiting for more than four years for such a measure to support her severely disabled daughter, who is in a wheelchair.
Lynne Liddel initially requested a dropped kerb near her house to enable her to take her daughter Keri, 18, to the local shops, but there has been no action taken to date — and indeed no sign of any work forthcoming.
Now Councillor Tim Brett, who represents the Tay Bridgehead ward, has taken up the mantle and insists Fife Council needs to take the issue far more seriously amid fears there may be a number of similar cases across the region.
“Unfortunately there are a number of other requests for dropped kerbs in my ward, a total of five, but it’s not clear when this dropped kerb will be installed,” Mr Brett explained.
“I am now concerned that this is another example of the financial pressures on the transportation service as it appears that dropped kerbs are something which they try and do towards the end of the financial year, if there is money left.
“We should be aware of the needs of disabled people and there are increasing numbers of people using both wheelchairs and motorised scooters who rely on dropped kerbs to be able to access facilities within our communities.
“I understand that the transportation service used to receive funding from social work to provide dropped kerbs but that stopped many years ago.
“I am writing to the head of transportation to clarify the policy on dropped kerbs as I believe this may be a human rights or a disablility rights issue and something which the council needs to take more seriously.”
Mrs Liddel, who stressed that she first raised the matter more than four years ago, said the current situation means she has had to stop using the pavement and at times walk on the main road to help support Keri.
“I have to use my body to stop the wheelchair running away from me, “ she added.
“It’s very intimidating having to walk on the main road — even more so when buses are coming towards you.
“I’ve been told there’s no money left in this year’s budget and I’ve been promised they will look at it as part of next year’s budget, but there will be two or three people in the same boat.”
Service Manager David Brown commented: “We spend around £2 million each year improving footways along with a similar amount expanding the cycleway network across Fife.
“All of this activity includes installing new dropped kerbs, improving the existing provision and responding to requests for this type of facility.”
And he claimed: “We have only very recently been made aware of this individual request and are in discussion with the family about what we can do to help.”