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Councillor's tumble outside Inverness Town House raises safety concerns

By Scott Maclennan

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Councillor Andrew Jarvie toppled over while negotiating a temporary ramp in Castle Street.
Councillor Andrew Jarvie toppled over while negotiating a temporary ramp in Castle Street.

A disabled city councillor’s safety warnings proved to be spot-on after he took a painful tumble in his wheelchair.

The leader of Highland Council's Conservative group toppled over on Wednesday and, although he was not hurt, Andrew Jarvie says the local authority must now listen to his pleas about ramps in the city centre.

Cllr Jarvie was getting ready to have his picture taken by a photographer with the Inverness Courier and Highland News for a story about the contentious temporary new one-way system implemented in the area when he took the tumble.

He recently warned council officials that temporary ramps outside Inverness Town House, designed to safely help wheelchair users move about, were problematic because they were not attached to the road surface.

But he said his complaints were dismissed by officers who told him contractors renovating the building were responsible – which he thinks is absurd.

The ramp was not fixed to the roadway.
The ramp was not fixed to the roadway.

“I mentioned the state of the ramps to council officers months ago, but nothing was done about it,” he said.

“I was told that it would be raised with the contractors renovating the Town House.

“That is ridiculous. The ramps connect a council road to a council pavement outside a council building.

“Fortunately for me, it was just a matter of laughing off a bruised ego and a broken pair of glasses but I really fear that there could be someone who is not as able as I am who could be left in a far worse way.”

A council spokesman said: “We are investigating the cause of this unfortunate incident and measures will be taken to ensure that the situation is resolved to avoid any further issues.”

Related article: Further calls to scrap Inverness city centre one-way system

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