Accessibility in our urban spaces: I'm shielding so... - NRAS

NRAS

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Accessibility in our urban spaces

cathie
cathie

I'm shielding so news from outside is inevitably filtered. However, I hear alarming news about the way in which the cycling lobby is taking over our roads, closing them to motorised traffic. While I support environmental improvements, clean air and safety to pedestrians, I'm afraid that accessibility is being abandoned just now, - now that we're shut indoors. I live in Edinburgh where some roads are being closed like this, but I hear from all over the UK (London and Bristol in particular) that this is happening. I'd be interested to hear peoples experiences and whether theres any campaigns being organised. This is a key issue of accessibility for people whose physical movements are limited because of chronic illness.

My regular trips of about a mile by car to a local loch in Holyrood Park kept me sane and balanced while coping with the effects of withdrawal of medications a few years ago. I see others with disabilities worse or different from me being shut out of public spaces. I'd love to hear what people here think.

40 Replies
oldestnewest

It’s not happening here and it’s a big cycling city. I hope it doesn’t catch on, not all of us can ride bikes 😔

There have been a few posts on my local community Facebook page asking for our town centre to be made more cycle friendly by restricting car access. Interestingly the retailers have always objected to shutting the centre to vehicles and I put forward the case against on behalf of the disabled and elderly community whose walking ability is very limited.

Perhaps our other forum members will make their voices heard in their communities if they too think it important for the disabled to have access to our town centres.

cathie
cathie in reply to Lolabridge

Thanks for this. Edinburgh seems to be making a bit of a splash on this. I’ve been contacting various groups about it. I support greening initiatives but we mustn’t be excluded.

Personally I would have thought that changing town centres to be for public transport, walking, cycling and blue badge holders would be a very good idea.

cathie
cathie in reply to helixhelix

The current plans say nothing about blue badge holders, that’s what concerns me.

helixhelix
helixhelix in reply to cathie

You have to provide vehicle access for safety services, so I think it would be odd if disability wasn’t also included.

AgedCrone
AgedCrone in reply to helixhelix

Not unless the cyclists understand they stay on special cycle lanes NOT pedestrian pavements.....I know they are less polluting than cars, but being crashed into by a bike is not on my bucket list!

cathie
cathie in reply to AgedCrone

People who aren’t confident on their feet are vulnerable in this way aren’t they.

AgedCrone
AgedCrone in reply to cathie

Well where I live if you can’t leap out of the way you’re in the orthopaedic ward PDQ,

Troygirl
Troygirl in reply to helixhelix

What is a blue badge holder?

cathie
cathie in reply to Troygirl

In the U.K. you can apply for a badge to show you’re disabled and need special access to parking. I don’t know where you are. I think there’s equivalents in other European countries

Troygirl
Troygirl in reply to cathie

Thanks. I am from America. We have handicapped parking tags that people hang on their rear view mirror. They can be all different colors. Each City has their own kind.

cathie
cathie in reply to Troygirl

this is useful and similar to our blue badges. However, here in Scotland city councils are looking at limiting traffic, not just parking to reduce emissions. A good thing, but it needs to take our needs into account doesn't it.

Angjoplin
Angjoplin in reply to helixhelix

I struggle to walk but dont qualify for a blue badge.

Ajay575
Ajay575 in reply to Angjoplin

Hi have you applied for a blue badge

cathie
cathie in reply to Angjoplin

I'm sorry to hear that. I only applied for a blue badge recently. What seems to have swung the decision was that I'm on biologics and the nurse was aware that my consultant wouldnt prescribe that unless I was seriously ill. It has made a difference (at least until lockdown) with access to parking. But nothing dramatic!

Angjoplin
Angjoplin in reply to cathie

Might give it another go. I tried many years ago and it seemed you basically needed a missing limb to qualify.

cathie
cathie in reply to Angjoplin

Its worth trying. It was the rituximab which clinched it for me - I was controlled, but it suggested that I was at risk of deteriorating and had serious disease. I suspect all biologics would be similar.

helixhelix
helixhelix in reply to Angjoplin

If you get PIP then you should get one automatically.

cathie
cathie in reply to helixhelix

I dont get PIP and got a blue badge.

Angjoplin
Angjoplin in reply to cathie

I'm waiting on my pip application. Wouldn't have done it without reading on this board. I might try get a blue badge too. 😊

Theres so many things you wouldn't know if others didnt tell you.

helixhelix
helixhelix in reply to cathie

Yes....doesn’t seem to work that way round. And maybe it varies between local authorities but the ones I've looked at seem to say that PIP is an automatic green light.

Not if just awarded PIP unfortunately. In England you're automatically eligible for a Blue Badge if you're awarded 8 points or more under the Moving Around activity of the Mobility component or if you receive 10 points specifically for Descriptor E under Planning & Following Journeys. It would be far better if it was simplified to a figure, ie awarded 12 points or more in the Mobility component.

Ajay575
Ajay575 in reply to nomoreheels

Maybe simplifying to 8 points or more ?😊

nomoreheels
nomoreheels in reply to Ajay575

That instead would work, as it's the standard award for the Mobility component.

Lolabridge
Lolabridge in reply to Angjoplin

I got one quite easily and could not manage without it.

I’m looking for concrete proposals, can think of several routes which have been closed because of the need to exercise during pandemic. Buses may be cut too. There’s a powerful super fit cycling lobby and it’s difficult to deal with this while shielding.

I live in Edinburgh too Cathie, but haven't heard this, as you say it is difficult when shielding to know what is actually happening. I'm for green initiatives, but accessibility and blue badge holders must be considered too. I'll ask around and get back to you if I hear anything.

cathie
cathie in reply to Mmrr

Thanks very much. Can I message you?

Mmrr
Mmrr in reply to cathie

Yes of course

edinburgh.gov.uk/roads-trav...

My son in law gave me this link. I haven't read it , hopefully it might answer some of your questions.

A really interesting post. I’m in Norwich and the city centres almost become inaccessible anyway as it’s mostly pedestrianised now. There are three blue badge spaces by the market. You can imagine what time you have to be up to get those! Only way I can get to the centre now is by taxi which is a pain. No bus route where I live either.

There are calls now to close the roads off that are open. Mostly so restaurants can have tables outside so they can open. I do see their point, but with a river running through this mediaeval city, and just two river crossings, roads are few and far between anyway.

Not sure what the answer is.

cathie
cathie in reply to HappykindaGal

Thanks it’s useful to know if disappointing. I’m wanting to suggest that access is shared, so many days open others pedestrians only. But we’re only just starting this campaign.

Hi Cathie. I would lobby the council and local MP to get them to give assurances that disabled access and blue badge parking is amply provided and not overlooked when considering any changes in access roads. I for one am sick of cyclists whizzing past on the canal towpath near me. I haven't been since lockdown but my daughter tells me it's worse than ever now. The whole world and his wife are riding their bikes now. I have no objection but I wish the law was stronger and restricted cyclists to roads. not canal towpaths and not park footpaths. Its just too dangerous. Taking a "quiet stroll" is impossible because of cyclists dinging their bells at you to get out of their way. Give me a petition and I'll sign it. Unfortunately I'm in Manchester so not much help to you but I wish you well.

medway-lady
medway-lady in reply to Biofreak

Same here, no towpath but nature reserve and country lanes and no police.

Biofreak
Biofreak in reply to medway-lady

I have found that the council are not interested in enforcing restrictions even when there are signs on footpaths saying NO CYCLING and have come across signs that have been pulled off or scrubbed out with marker pen. Makes me really mad. My husband has just said "that bee's in your bonnet again"! 😄

medway-lady
medway-lady in reply to Biofreak

In mine as well. x

Thanks. This is a great help as I’m wondering how widespread is this problem.

I've been out this morning just to get petrol with the hubby and clearly our local roads are being used for racing. Its ok in single file but they aren't theirs reports of bikers using th reserve footpaths at breakneck speed and one died a few months ago when he fell off and broke his neck. Still hasn't stopped them and motor dirt bikes are worse, using the public roads nom tax or insurance , helmets and 3 abreast. We're so far out of town their gone by the time police arrive. The lockdown has opened up our roads to abuse as well as for fitness. The cyclists ignore the dedicated cycle paths which infuriates me, we spent a lot of money building them at their request and ignored.

I’m hoping that nras are following these comments and could suggest how we could follow up what seems to be a widespread concern

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