Dunbeg residents call for action ‘before someone gets seriously hurt’

The fallen lamppost (which has since been cordoned off) at Stewart Way was hit twice by motor vehicles according to the housing association responsible for the area.

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Residents of a new complex in Dunbeg are appealing to their housing provider to do something about the health and safety issues they have reported before someone is seriously injured or worse.

Calls for West Highland Housing Association (WHHA) to step up and fix the ongoing problems came after a lamppost fell over in Stewart Way on Saturday August 14, as children were playing in the street beside it.

Claire MacDonald, whose 11-year-old son was involved in a road traffic incident on the same street recently, is just one of several concerned parents.

‘It’s a lovely place to live but if someone doesn’t listen to us and come and fix these problems, we are afraid something awful is going to happen,’ she told The Oban Times.

That something nearly did on Saturday when the lamppost toppled slowly to the ground. Claire’s son witnessed it while another younger child got himself underneath it and tried to push it back up again.

Another resident said that the lamppost had been listing since a works vehicle reversed into it some time ago.

West Highland Housing Association say the lamppost was hit firstly ‘by a sub-contractor then made safe by another sub-contractor then hit again by a car a couple of weekends ago’.

A spokesperson added: ‘The main contractor has made it safe and cordoned it off so it is lying on the ground.

‘The sub-contractors insurers have been given a quote and the main contractor is waiting to hear from the insurers to accept the quote and it will be repaired once it has been agreed.’

In July, Claire and her partner Kenny Ahmed blamed the new-style ‘pedestrianised’ road in part for their son’s accident and feel it is partly to blame for this latest incident too.

‘If the pavement had been raised the van probably wouldn’t have hit the post in the first place,’ she said.

She and Kenny, along with other parents in the neighbourhood, say they have asked WHHA to fit gates at the end of the alleyways between houses to make it difficult for younger children to run out onto the road.

They say the design of the area at the front of their houses makes it unclear to youngsters and confusing for motorists as to where the road starts and the pavement ends.

WHHA say: ‘The play area is designed as an integral play space within the development and does not require a gate according to the design guides.

‘The access to the play area is quite remote from vehicle spaces and we are erecting signage to encourage vehicle drivers to drive slowly within the shared spaces.’

‘This is a new layout for residents in this area and it will take time for people to get used to the different open spaces but it has been designed in accordance with the Designing Streets criteria set out as a requirement of the Scottish Government who have contributed substantial funding to the new development.’

In addition, residents say the lampposts haven’t been installed at the correct depth with the arrowed indicators on the bottom appearing well above the ground.

‘Streetlights in Young Crescent haven’t even got lamps at the top of them, leaving residents there in darkness,’ added another tenant while the playpark is still lacking a rubbish bin that we were promised weeks ago.’

The housing association spokesperson said they weren’t aware of anyone within WHHA confirming bins would be provided and that no bins had been proposed for the play areas as emptying bins added to the service charges of residents and that they hoped people would take rubbish home to dispose of it.