Larne seafront railings to be replaced
Seafront railings at Larne’s Chaine Memorial Road are to be replaced at no cost to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.
The council’s Operations Director Philip Thompson told a meeting of the Direct Services Committee on Tuesday evening that the replacement will be funded by the Department for Infrastructure. The council will then be responsible for maintenance of the structure.
He explained that there is a similar arrangement in Whitehead.
In June, councillors were told that railings at Whitehead’s seafront between Glasgow Rangers’ Social Club and Whitehead Yacht Club are to be replaced by the Department at a cost of almost £100,000.
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council will then be expected to provide maintenance.
The condition of railings along the Antrim coast has been highlighted by elected representatives past and present.
Coast Road Ulster Unionist Councillor Maureen Morrow has said that some sections, particularly at Drains Bay, outside Larne, are in a “very poor condition”. She raised the issue with the DfI in 2019.
Ownership and responsibility for the upkeep of the railings lies mostly with the Roads Service – part of the DfI.
The Department has been assessing the situation to providing costings to address the issue with a report expected on whether to replace or refurbish Coast Road railings “from Carnlough to Carrickfergus”.
A former councillor has highlighted what he described as “the criminally obvious rust-eaten railings at Larne’s seafront”.
Robert Robinson, who was an elected representative on Larne Borough Council. criticised the condition of the railings at Chaine Memorial Road which he says are “past recovery” with top bars missing or loose and “some blatantly obvious issues”.
Coast Road DUP Councillor Angela Smyth pointed out that all eyes would be on the coastal route during last month’s Antrim Coast Half Marathon. The Chaine Memorial was the start and finishing point for the race.
Mr Thompson told councillors that responsibility for the railings depends on ownership of the land on which they are situated.
At Chaine Memorial Road, he indicated there is “clear proof of that” but that is not the case for all the railings at Coast Road.