A RAGING resident has called for a u-turn after an historic right of way to Largs Prom was blocked off.

Largs man Russell Cavanagh says the installation of a disabled ramp and railing at the public toilets means people can no longer reach the loos easily.

A new ramp and handrail has been installed to provide disabled access to the public toilets, but Mr Cavanagh - backed by independent councillor Ian Murdoch - says it is now a major hindrance for most users and has also resulted in the loss of a long-standing right of way.

He believes that a section of the flower display at the side of the public toilets should have been taken away in order to ease access and restore a public pathway between the prom and Gallowgate Street which has always existed.

Mr Cavanagh said: "My access to the gents' public toilet has been barred on a permanent basis from the directions of both the seafront car park and Beachcomber ice-cream hut / Fishworks.

"It also means that another access point to the promenade and seafront is now closed to public right of way.

"A ramp has been built with a railing that is blocking what I'm guessing has been a public right of way for many years.

"Apart from being unsightly, the construction - ramp and railing - shows no consideration for those of us needing to pay a visit to the gents' toilets.

"I appreciate that this ramp and railing were perhaps built in some effort to meet an obligation regarding disability access but it is disproportionately inconveniencing an overwhelmingly vast majority of people in the process.

"The council has been caught with its pants down with this blunder. It is blocking access to the gents' from two different directions.

"This is a case of North Ayrshire Council blocking a public right of way that's been in use for decades, if not centuries

"It's ironic that a ramp and handrail intended to give disabled access to public toilets has blocked everyone needing to pay a visit from either the car park or the promenade.

"Only a very restricted passage exists between the seafront promenade and the car park between the Beachcomber kiosk and the Fish Works.

"There is about an 18-inch gap, which itself is already being blocked by wheelie bins.

"There is no access to the toilets at all from this direction and no access from the car park, unless you climb through the railings."

Independent councillor Ian Murdoch says people now face needless inconvenience to use the lavatory, with pedestrians on the prom now having to walk around the building just to get to the gents' loos.

He said: "The ramp was installed in order to provide disabled access to the new Changing Places Toilet that has been created.

"However, I was very concerned when the first hand rail was installed which prevented any access behind the kiosk and to the car park.

"I am now even more concerned that access has been blocked altogether and I will be raising this with the council."

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson told the News: “While we are sorry that this may have inconvenienced a small number of people the ramp was required to enable wheelchair users to access the Changing Place toilets.

“We are currently looking at various options for this area and will consider the best way forward.”