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Disability campaigner calls for better access on Leicester

5th January 2015

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

A disability campaigner from Leicester is calling for improvements to be made to kerbs and crossing controls in order to make access better for wheelchair users, the partially sighted and those that use home stairlifts.

Following a survey carried out by the disability campaigner, issues such as shops using A boards on the footway and badly placed crossing controls have been highlighted, and it is hoped that the council will do more to implement necessary improvements.

The vice chairman of the Midlands TUC disability forum used a wheelchair to undertake the survey of the city centre, which took 90 minutes. During the survey he assessed the ease of accessing shops, crossing roads and using pedestrian areas in order to report back to the council on areas that may prove to be a problem for those with disabilities.

Improving the streets of Leicester for wheelchair users

The assessor came across a number of problems, such as kerbs that cannot be negotiated in wheelchairs and A boards blocking pavements, which could be a problem for partially-sighted people. It also became clear that many of the pedestrian crossings in the city centre had badly placed poles, which were encouraging those in wheelchairs to get dangerously close to the edge of the carriageway.

Leicester City Council has since responded and stated that national guidelines on street planning have been complied with during recent works on the gradients of pavements, and that all street improvements are planned with a disability access officer. A number of streets in the city have recently been refurbished with smooth surfaces, although there are still areas that need addressing by the council.

The vice chairman of Midlands TUC had previously conducted a similar survey three years ago, and this year’s survey was conducted on the International Day of People with Disability.

Image Credit: Charlotte Gilhooly (Flickr.com)

This content was written by Emily Bray. Please feel free to visit my Google + profile to read more stories.