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‘Prisoner in own home’

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By Euan Maxwell
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‘Prisoner in own home’

A 93-YEAR-OLD Lockerbie resident feels he’s “a prisoner in his own home” after a bollard was put up outside his door.

Allan Airley can’t leave his Mains Street house safely after Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership (DGHP) installed the bollard outside his back door last month.

Mr Airley – who has mobility issues and lives in a bungalow – has tried leaving out of his front doors but has suffered injuries as that entrance is “too steep”.

His carers have also voiced their concerns as in the past he would be able to hold onto a fence outside his back entrance and then would be safely placed into a car. But the new bollards prevent vehicles getting close now.

The offending bollard

Mr Airley has raised the issue with Lockerbie Community Council chairwoman Jan Andrews who wants to see it resolved as soon as possible.

She said: “Mr Airley’s carers said that they went into his house this week and he was so frustrated.

“He was crying and shouting that he felt like a prisoner in his own home because of the bollards outside. They are preventing him from getting out of his house.

“He used to come out of his back door and walk along the fence so he could hold onto the fence to aid him and then the driver would be parked next to the gate and he’d be able to get into a car.

“But now he can’t because that bollard is up. Now what happens is he has to go out his front door. The steps are steep and the barriers aren’t suitable. He walks with a zimmer and he’s already covered in bruises.”

Allan shows off his bruises

Ms Andrews told members at Tuesday night’s community council meeting that “there’s no need” for the bollards to be put in place and a solution should be sought.

She added: “And plus the fact it actually now reduces accessibly for the emergency services to able them to get to the gateway to get people with disabilities out of them six houses.

“The outcome has to be a solution so Mr Airley can get in and out of his house without injuring himself.”

Fellow community councillor Doreen Jenkins noted that somebody had reported cars driving through the walking path, near Mr Airley’s back door, and that’s why the bollard was put in place.

In response Ms Andrews said: “A bollard that collapses would be more suitable.

“The fact they’ve now restricted him from getting in and out of his house. It’s very inconvenient for him and is having a big impact on him. He could be seriously hurt if this continues.”

A spokesperson for DGHP said: “We’re really sorry to hear our tenant is unhappy with the bol- lards and is having difficulty accessing his home.

“Customers had asked us to install these bollards as a safety measure because cars and motorbikes were using this pedestrian walkway and putting people at risk.

“We’ll visit this tenant to see what we can do to help.”

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