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Ramp raises some doubts

Ralph Birkitt next to the blocked mobility ramp. PHOTO/SUE TEODORO

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A Masterton resident is worried people with mobility issues will be unable to use an offramp to a redesigned central car park.

But Masterton District Council [MDC] says work on the car park is not complete.

Ralph Burkitt, who regularly uses a mobility scooter, noticed the issue on Wednesday morning.

The offramp is on Chapel St off the footpath adjacent to the Property Brokers office.

Set into the pavement at a safe distance from the main road, the ramp is placed right next to what appears to be a car park.

The placement means when the adjacent area is occupied, people with limited mobility would not be able to use the ramp.

If the area were unoccupied, the accessway would be open.

“People with pushchairs and wheelchairs will be affected,” Burkitt said.

“When you go down the little ramp, there’s a car right beside it, so there’s no way you can get down. There’s no lines whatsoever there.

“If they’d put it at the other end, people could have gone through. But now they’ve put it on the side [next to where the cars are parking].”

The Times-Age visited the ramp with Burkitt. The car park was almost full, and a car was in place blocking the exit off the mobility ramp.

“How is a lady with a pushchair meant to get off the pavement with that car there?” he said. “There’s no markings for cars here either.”

An MDC spokesperson said work on this area was not yet finished and parking lines would be added.

Work had still been under way on the drainage sump in the area at the time marking took place in completed parts of the car park.

“The area will be marked to ensure access to the footpath is maintained,” they said.

The access point on the footpath will be coned off, and lines for two car parks will be painted when other parts of the car park are ready for marking. The estimated timeframe for this work is three to four weeks away.

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