RUNNING THE GAUNTLET: A local doctor is worried about the safety of his patients outside Tweed Day Surgery.
RUNNING THE GAUNTLET: A local doctor is worried about the safety of his patients outside Tweed Day Surgery. SCOTT POWICK

Business owner accuses council of ignoring residents' safety

A TWEED Heads businessman and skin-care doctor who has been concerned for years about patients' safety outside his practice is once again pleading for council's help.

Glen Parker, who owns a practice at the Tweed Day Surgery on Boyd St, Tweed Heads, is urging Tweed Shire Council to install a pedestrian crossing leading to the practice.

His calls come after one of his patients allegedly fell on Boyd St while attempting to cross the road.

Mr Parker told The Tweed Daily News it was one of several incidents over the years and many patients were elderly, on medication and some even wear an eye-patch which hinders their ability to cross the road safely.

"I have looked around the country, every day surgery has a pedestrian crossing,” Mr Parker said.

"I have been trying to get a pedestrian crossing for like five years now.

"The street is very busy, cars go very fast.

"Patients are attempting to cross and there is no way they can do it safely.”

Mr Parker said he had raised the issue several times, most notably in 2016 when it was reported by The Tweed Daily News, and claimed council had avoided taking action on the issue.

"I think the big picture is this council doesn't have any interest in the safety of residents,” he said.

However Tweed Shire Council has refuted the notion.

Council's director of engineering David Oxenham said the council had received complaints over the years regarding issues on Boyd St and measures had been taken to reduce the risk of crossing the road.

"To improve the situation in this locality, council has installed pedestrian blisters at the Tweed Day Surgery on Boyd St,” Mr Oxenham said.

"Boyd St has also been recently reconstructed which has improved the traffic and walking surface of the road.”

An investigation was conducted by council in 2016, according to Mr Oxenham, but it was determined the level of traffic didn't warrant a crossing.

Mr Oxenham also pointed the finger at the owners of the complex, stating they had not done enough to ensure the safety of patients.

"...the surgery is not providing sufficient parking for their patients on site which is exacerbated by the large number of reserved parking spaces,” he said.

"It would appear that this is forcing many of patients to park on street and walk to the surgery.

"When this development was approved it was on the basis of a traffic report prepared by the applicant which indicated there would be sufficient parking on site.”

But Mr Parker said it was an easy excuse which would not solve the problem.

"This problem (involves) hundreds of patients, a few extra parking spaces is not going to make a difference,” Mr Parker said.

"That is council just finding a reason to not do any investigations.

"They are recklessly disregarding the safety of residents.”