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Omagh footpaths to be reviewed for social distancing

A REVIEW into footpath widths in Omagh has been carried out to consider measures to improve social distancing and disability access.

Council members had previously voiced concerns about the width of pavements generally and in meeting the two metre social distancing requirements during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Department of Infrastructure informed the council that an initial review of footpath widths in Omagh to consider measures that could be introduced to assist pedestrians and cyclists had been carried out.

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However, it is believed that no funding will be made available to carry out the project.

The Department told the council, “We are keen to work with your officials to pool our ideas and ensure that we maximise the effectiveness of whatever we do to help improve social distancing and encourage active travel within our towns.

“I have asked my officials to engage with the council and to assist your designer in a review of the project to ensure that, where practicable, opportunities are taken to widen narrow footways within the project area to help enhance social distancing within the town centre.”

Council members welcomed the move by the department and Cllr Barry McElduff added he has organised a socially distanced site meeting with the Department of Infrastructure in Omagh to discuss improved access for the disabled in the community.

“Disability access campaigners in Omagh recently highlighted the problematic experience of shopping in the town centre.

“I propose we write to the Department asking for their assessment of the height of footpaths in Omagh town centre in relation to convenience and safety for disabled users,” said Cllr McElduff.

Cllr Errol Thompson said, “We have had many decisions about this and I welcome the minister’s letter.

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“The one that has been highlighted to us, is in Omagh but there is probably other areas throughout the Omagh area.”

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