Decade-long plea for safer path continues
VISION-IMPAIRED HAS BEEN HIT BY CAR TWICE
A SIMPLE trip to the shops can be “treacherous” for vision-impaired resident Don Scott, who has twice been hit by a car.
Despite this, a passionate decade-long campaign from his wife Chris Scott to make his path safe has failed to prompt Blacktown Council to find a solution.
However, After The Standard questioned the council on behalf of Mrs Scott, Mt Druitt MP and Blacktown Ward 4 councillor Edmond Atalla, along with the council’s manager of civil and parks maintenance, met with the Scotts on Friday, identifying two possible solutions.
While Mr Scott has the help of his guide dog Watson, he must navigate an uneven path in Mt Druitt – which changes constantly because of construction work in the area – to reach a safe point to cross to the side of Durham St.
Mrs Scott said she was angered by the money to be spent on the proposed council name change when it could be better spent. “They say there is a footpath on the other side that he should use. The fact that he can’t access it without crossing Durham St is irrelevant to them (council staff),” she said.
“You walk according to what you see. If you see a pothole, you prepare to step around it. Visually impaired people don’t see that kind of thing.”
Mrs Scott said with all the unit developments in the area, three schools and a large portion of the popu- lation ageing, the second footpath would benefit many.
“I told the council, ‘if you’re going to put that amount of units there, Don’s already been hit (by a car) twice. We need some kind of protection for him’,” she said.
Mr Scott, whose vision began to deteriorate following an operation to remove a brain tumour in 1958, was first hit by a car in 2002 as he tried to cross Durham St, and then again in 2005.
But despite pleas to Blacktown Council to install a footpath on the side of Durham St that he must use to access the lights, he is forced to navigate the uneven path.
Following Friday’s meeting, a council spokeswoman said staff would explore two possible solutions.
They include installation of a second pedestrian refuge on Durham St or the concrete path requested.
“Funding opportunities will be examined,” she said.
Don Scott with his traffic-trained guide dog Watson at Durham St.