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Aylesbury roads under scrutiny for lack of accessibility

Wheelchair users claim the pavements are unsuitable

Published by Scarlett Bawden-Gaul at 12:42pm 3rd February 2020. (Updated at 4:37pm 3rd February 2020) 3-minute read.

Aylesbury roads under scrutiny for lack of accessibility

Wheelchair users in Southcourt are unhappy with the roads around Aylesbury.

Kirsten has Cerebral Palsy and is a resident at Waterside House, run by SeeAbility a charity that supports people with sight loss and multiple disabilities.

Waterside is a residential home dedicated to supporting living, social and personal care needs. 

As Kirsten uses a wheelchair, the pavements around the centre, and other areas in Aylesbury, cause her physical pain and stress. 

Bumps, cracks, tree roots and a lack of drop kerbs are all problems that make her life difficult and painful.

Kerb

In a letter to her local Councillor last year she wrote:

I am complaining about the big bumps on the path, I have back pain and it makes it worse when I have to go over the bumps in my wheelchair. 

Big bumps near the duck pond, nearly made my chair (mouse) tip a bit I could have fallen out! But I didn’t 

It makes me feel anxious and jumpy when there are bumps, I can not see properly as I have a visual impairment in my left eye and my right eye I can see very little.

It is affecting the lives of Waterside residents, as Marianne a support worker at the home sees regularly:

"They're so cracked and bumpy that we have wheelchair users fall out of their chairs. It causes them stress and anxiety to walk even to the local shops. Its awful.

"We have a woman who would rather pay £14 for a return taxi to the shops than do the 10 minute walk.

"Its like nobody cares. Nobody thinks about wheelchairs until you're in one or the one pushing them."

Transport for Bucks provided this statement:

TFB appreciates that there is, in certain areas, a legacy of difficult access sites.

New schemes implemented aim to be Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) compliant and meet current standards. Where we undertake new schemes we endeavour to make improvements to such facilities to improve accessibility for all.

Many improvement schemes are delivered through funding sources such as Members' Funds or the Local Area Forum - soon to be changing to Community Boards through the new Buckinghamshire Council - to improve footways, including dropped kerb provisions. 

TfB is reviewing current funding in this area. The Local Area Technician is more than happy to discuss specific areas of concern, and would support improvements where funding is available, as long as a safe location is feasible.

Pavement

Benny is also a resident at Waterside House and said:

"As its the home of the Stoke Mandeville Paralympic Games Sir Ludwig Guttmann would be turning in his grave.

"It's disgusting."

 

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