A Cronulla resident has appealed for the council to proceed with controversial footpaths in Surf lane, Cronulla after her husband was seriously injured in a fall from his motorised scooter.
Joe Griffths, 88, was leaving his home in the Sundeck Apartments through the rear gate because steps prevent him using the Gerrale Street frontage.
Mr Griffiths found an illegally parked car blocking the ramp from the narrow footpath and, when he tried to get around it, the scooter tilted and he was thrown to the ground, suffering bleeding to the brain, a fractured sternum and numerous rib fractures.
His wife Jan has spent several weeks, from early morning until late afternoon, by his side in St George Hospital.
"It is very difficult for older people with mobility problems to use Surf Lane, and the council needs to get on with this project," Mrs Griffiths said.
Sutherland Shire Council, at its last meeting, shelved plans for the new footpaths, which were opposed by the Cronulla Chamber of Commerce because parking spaces would be lost.
The council decided to defer the proposal until after all stages of the mall upgrade have been completed, which could be several years.
In the meantime, the council will "further investigate, monitor and implement measures to reduce vehicle speeds and improve pedestrian safety without parking loss in Surf Lane".
In addition, there will be further consultation on timed parking changes in surrounding streets, which were identified as part of a parking offset plan for the loss of parking in Surf Lane associated with the proposed footpaths.
The lane, which runs behind shops in the mall, is principally used for deliveries, garbage collection and other services, while providing some parking.
New footpaths were requested by number of Gerrale Street apartment building residents with rear frontage to Surf Lane.
Cronulla Chamber of Commerce and individual business owners strongly opposed the proposal, which would have involved the loss of seven parking spaces.
The chamber gathered 150 signatures on a petition to the council not to go ahead.
A council staff report said "responses were mixed, with the residents supporting the idea and the business community raising concerns relating to access, loading and business disruption".
"Having regard to the impact of current plaza (mall) project works on businesses, the very early nature of investigations into the footpath and the existing risk for pedestrians it is recommended that further consideration of the footpath be deferred until after completion of the plaza project works," the report said.
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