It is recommended that a barrier system be implemented at Coleraine Cemetery to restrict vehicular access.
Back in 2020 Council approved a report recommending restricting vehicular access, however, due to the Covid pandemic, there were concerns that death rates may increase significantly so officers decided that, while the pandemic was occurring, it would not be the most appropriate time to install the barrier.
The reasons for the barrier system outlined in a report to Councillors read:
1. Damage to headstones and memorials. Many drivers cannot negotiate corners without either driving into or reversing into headstones or memorials or driving over graves. This, may in part, be due to the narrowness of the paths, the sharpness of the corners on paths that were not designed to cope with current traffic volumes.
2. When vehicles meet from opposite directions, they are forced to drive on the grass to pass each other. Also, vehicles will mount the grass to pass stationary vehicles due to the restriction in path width.
3. Access to the graveside by a hearse and family mourners has been compromised in the past due to parked cars in the cemetery.
4. Pedestrians and cemetery staff are at risk from motorists many of whom disregard the 10mph speed limit.
Councillors next week will hear how officers are now recommending implementing the barrier at the entrance to Coleraine Cemetery and operated on the same principle as the existing barrier at Ballymoney Cemetery.
Those who can demonstrate mobility issues (eg. ‘Blue badge’ holders) can avail of a fob allowing car access.
The item of business will be heard at the Environmental Services Committee next Tuesday evening.