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Anger at failure to salt slippy footpaths

By Chris McCullough

Published 16/01/2016

Concerns have been raised about a failure to salt pavements during freezing conditions.

Neither Transport NI nor local councils carry out routine salting of footpaths during snow.

The Belfast Telegraph took to the streets yesterday to find out what people thought.

In north Belfast conditions were particularly bad on the Crumlin Road. Pensioner Frances Dubois, who lives just off Silverstream Crescent, had already taken a tumble that morning and hurt herself.

She said: "I hurt my back and people had to lift me up. I have cancer and it's not easy getting around, but when no one salts the pavements it makes it even worse.

"I had to walk on the road as it was safer than on the pavement."

Mervyn Perry, who has lived in the area for more than 50 years, cannot remember the last time paths were salted.

"It's very dangerous," he said. "Our street never gets salted, but the council did leave us a salt box and we salt it ourselves.

"In over 50 years, I have never seen the pavements on the Crumlin Road salted. It's a disgrace and very dangerous for us."

Although a lot younger, Shellie Hutchinson was treading carefully as she walked down the road near Ballysillan Post Office.

"I have to walk all the way down here to get a bus and it's not easy," she said. "I don't know how older people cope when it's slippy."

Pensioner Roy Hogg from Joanmount fell on his back on Thursday and was unable to get up, even with spikes in his shoes and a walking aid.

He said: "I wake at 7am to go to the shop for the Belfast Telegraph. But on Thursday after 10am I was going to do a few messages. The pavement was slippy and I fell on my back trying to cross the road.

"Luckily, a motorist stopped and helped me to my feet again. Whoever is penny-pinching and trying to save money by not salting the pavements needs to rethink what they are doing."

The Royal Victoria Hospital said patient numbers were not any higher than normal because of people falling on ice.

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