Sunday, March 04, 2012

Latest notes from Murd's Firhall Bridge campaign

Here's the latest hot of the press from Murd:

In relation to my highlighting how public money is being spent in the town I'm now being told I could be making my self unpopular by complaining about the demolition of the filling station but if that's the price I have to pay so be it.

Let me make it clear it was never a popularity contest as far as I was concerned. All I ever wanted was the less fortunate to be able to cross the bridge and will always be my main concern to get a fair deal for theme and not a car park for a private company.

But I would ask you what you think is the better deal for the disabled and please bear in mind the severely handicapped in the care homes who don't easily enjoy all the pleasures of life as the rest of us take for granted.. Do you think they should be deprived of the right to be taken for a walk around the river with all that implies; being able to see people fishing, woodpeckers, herons, dippers and many other birds, squirrels and all the rest that mother nature has to offer. That is what i am striving to achieve and will continue to do so.

All the following can be achieved by not spending your taxes on demolition of the filling station. How will this benefit the disabled? Extra car parking yes but sit and look at the back of buildings and watch traffic go by expelling fumes. All the hazards of going down the town .what a great prospect. A nice tidy site for the Co-op to dispose of whenever they decide.

Over the last three years I have been told there is no money and then hear there is money for the removal of what appears to be a good building and in last weeks Invernes Courier, there’s apparently £500.000 for 17 projects and to be told it's Scottish Governement money. It’s our taxes, not money beamed down from outer space, and the bridge is in Scotland. Thedisabled deserve a fair deal and their rights by law

So now you all know why I have put my case forward for the money to be used for a ramp which is more important to me than a few car spaces.

At a recent meeting it was suggested that I should try and raise money to put towards the ramp and I now wonder how much the Co-op would contribute or for that matter? Were they ever approached when given the offer to demolish the filling station as Somerfield had put up money before planning permission was granted to them?

Also being mentioned is the money being used is for the demolishing of old structures if that is the case then the steps are much older than the filling station plus the fact they do not comply to modern-day regulations and are unusable for the less fit and can be dangerous for for those who do use them. At one point I did rise the fact I thought they were dangerous when some one had to descend in a backward manner when trying to take a pram across. The reply was that people can see the problem before they use them which is not entirely true as people don't realise they cant turn on the bridge.

Update: Pictures of the Firhall Bridge by Murray MacRae


Anonymous said...

While I sympathise with your position, as far as I am aware, the disabled are not being prevented from accessing the riverside, just that one bridge. Sorry, but 30k just to make one crossing more disabled friendly is too much.

Graisg said...

The point you are missing anon is that Murd is saying that there still is money around. Time to fight for some of it to come to Nairn to sort the Firhall Bridge. 500K was recently splashed around the Highlands for projects for low level offenders to undertake. Now why can't we get 31K of the next set of funding here?

nairnguy said...

How DARE anyone put a price on the cost to help people less fortunate that our self.Weather it's was something they were born with or that happened to them.The counselors in this town should take a pay cut that would soon pay for it.Go on Graham and laurie put your hands in your pockets.It's pathetic this town !

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Look, I'm hardly making out that money shouldnt be spent on helping people less fortunate. Spending £30k on the crossing of one bridge is just rediculous and how does this lack of crossing prevent disabled people enjoying the riverside. There is the Jubilee bridge?

The Jacobite said...

can murd tel us how much it will cost to demolish the filing station? Bet it will be a lot more than the ramp. Is that what anon would rather see the money spent on?

Anonymous said...

Just thinking what provision has Highland Council made for access for disabled people. A lot of business had to make access easier due to the disabled access act.

Also another thing we are all equal under the eyes of the law, so why are some people being treated differently?

spasticus autisticus said...

"so why are some people being treated differently?"

Unfortunately a disability makes you different.

I am disabled and have mixed views about the bridge, but it's all about choices in terms of what can be done with our taxes, a bridge that I can manage to get across or an eyesore demolished

I would find it a very hard decision, both have their merits

I'm sorry the disabled are such a burden to all you able bodied folk, believe you me we would much rather be able to stand on our own two feet

In some societies we would have been chucked off a cliff. Maybe thats the solution you would like. Some days I wouldn't mind it myself

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget Murd's campaign for the bridge will also benefit able bodied people such as parents with buggies and prams, cyclists, etc. There are more than 20,000 people a year use this route.

Anonymous said...

I am all for providing access to the countryside for the less able.

DDA regulations on access width for wheelchairs brings electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters into play.

I myself would expect no less than a professional design ensuring that any user would not find the bridge width less than the width of their wheelchair or scooter.

I have visions of some poor soul getting stuck on a ramp simply becase they can go up it, yet find they cant cross or turn round, what then?

If it is to get done - it's got to be right.

Jane Harkiss said...

Interesting comments and I particularly agree with spasticus autisticus' input. To continue the theme - has anyone considered the wider implications of limited access - i.e. with regard to visitors, tourists etc? This article in 'Disability Now' caught my eye...

"..Disabled people in Wales face significant barriers to high street shopping, a report has found.

The Streets Ahead report, produced by Disability Wales, recruited mystery shoppers to investigate the accessibility of shops and services in Wales.

They found that buildings often had no level access and that shops were cluttered; that staff could be unhelpful and insensitive and that the intercoms used by some banks can exclude deaf customers.

One of the mystery shoppers, Margaret Baron from Haverfordwest, who uses a walking stick, says that the lack of disability awareness among staff in shops needs to be addressed.

"I tried to open a shop door and couldn't. The staff could see me but they didn't help," she said.

"If you pick up some clothes and you have a stick, the staff don't come and ask you if you need a hand. They ignore you."

The report concludes that disabled people are increasingly shunning high street shops in favour of out of town shops which are often more accessible.

Rhian Davies, Chief Executive of Disability Wales, vowed to campaign until inclusion in the high street was a reality.

She said: “Being able to buy a loaf of bread, pay in a cheque or have a haircut are everyday activities that disabled people should be able to take for granted."

Disability Wales has recommended that the definition of 'reasonable adjustments' be clarified in the Single Equality Bill. It is also calling for funding for access groups in Wales; access to be a priority issue among business organisations and for local authorities to enforce their statutory duties concerning access to the high street where planning permission is sought for new developments and changes to existing buildings..."

Thoughts? Cheerie Toodle - P xx

Anonymous said...

I'm dismayed that the Gurn is publishing comments that are in effect 'disabled bashing'

There is a growing problem with physical and verbal assault upon the disabled and I'm afraid certain comments underline this issue

Graisg said...

Which comments are you referring too Anon?


Let me give you a few facts with the redundant pipe removed as promised the width on the bridge will be more than 1 meter wide and the average wheal chair is 600mm wide which will give over 400 mm clearance. The ramp would be to DDA standards so no possibility of not getting across.
When reading the comments 0f spasticus autisticus unless it is a misprint it states a bridge that I can manage to get across or an eyesore demolished. Then you could try and get CO--op to DEMOLISH it but not with TAXPAYERS money. I am also led to believe when an offer to buy the sits was made it was rejected so obviously they don't think it to be an eyesore. But they will allow the site to be cleared and increase the value. So unless you are a Co-op share holder the decision is simple. NOT WITH TAX PAYERS MONEY. By the way I am not disabled but I do care for the less fortunate than me and Will do all I can to have a ramp installed regardless of who I upset to achieve this. To all who can't access the bridge at the moment I and all my supporters are on your side. MURD

Anonymous said...

--hot of? the press.
Shurely shome mistake.

P. Edantic