Council workers scoot around Ballina streets
COMPLAINTS about Ballina's 'scooter trails' have given council staff an excuse to jump on one of the motorised vehicles and give it a test drive around town.
But it was not all fun and games - the aim of the test run was to look at issues with the footpaths, which some residents have raised with Ballina Shire Council.
Paul Busmanis, the council's engineering works manager, said staff were completing a study of the footpaths in response to a number of complaints from scooter users.
“We do get some complaints about the footpaths in relation to access for scooters,” Mr Busmanis said.
“Staff have borrowed a scooter and driven the CBD paths to collect information and look at things like crossings, whether certain access points are too steep, or whether we need to install new ramps.
“Once they have completed their investigations they will come up with a list and put some costings together and see what we can get done.”
However, Ballina scooter driver Gwen Thirgood said she did not see the need for improvements, saying paths around town were already 'wonderful'.
“I don't have any problems with access on my scooter, and I ride all around town,” Mrs Thirgood said.
“I've lived here for most of my life and I don't know what they are complaining about.
“It's great that they are already making the paths wider down there (near the River Street/Kerr Street intersection), it's fantastic.”
Mrs Thirgood said that as long as scooter users drove safely and sensibly, they shouldn't have any problems with the local paths.
However, she agreed it was a good idea for the council to review them, saying improvements would only make them more user-friendly.
In December last year, the Ballina Chamber of Commerce called for a review of mobility scooter traffic to help retailers make more use of the footpaths.
Mobility scooters are a popular means of transport for Ballina's growing aged population, and the council has conducted safety workshops for those who use them.