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Canal delays ‘not good enough’

THERE remains no time-frame for the opening of a toilet block at Strabane canal towpath, despite it being installed over four years ago.

A spokesperson for Derry City and Strabane District Council this week confirmed that the facility will remain closed until further notice. The long-standing hold-up remains the installation of electricity.

In July 2015 the toilets were awaiting planning permission for the supply of electricity and following that installation “it will be opened thereafter,” a statement from the local authority suggested.

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Then, in 2017 a spokesperson for council suggested, “Work is ongoing at the toilet block to facilitate the installation of electricity and to ensure it fully complies with environmental standards.”

This week a statement from council read, “The toilet block at Strabane Canal remains closed to the public until work is completed to install electricity in the building and to ensure it fully complies with environmental standards.”

It is now seven years since Strabane canal towpath was re-opened to runners, cyclists and walkers with plans unveiled to substantially enhance the area further.

While much good work has been done, those using the canal say recent developments do not go far enough.

“It’s not good enough,” independent councillor Patsy Kelly said.

“There always seems to be an excuse when it comes to the canal. They’re creating greenways in Derry left, right and centre. It’s about time the canal was developed.

“Apart from the toilets, it’s all overgrown and the surface is unsuitable for the likes of mothers pushing highchairs and people in wheelchairs.”

He concluded, “It’s high time we got something sorted.”

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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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