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2nd Jul, 2022

Lack of access sparks anger

Malvern Editorial 25th Jun, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

CONCERNS have been raised parts of Great Malvern are practically out of bounds for disabled people due to a lack of dropped kerbs.

The issue has been highlighted since the recent installation of a new disabled parking bay on Belle Vue Terrace, where there is no dip in the pavement to the road making it particularly difficult for wheelchair users to mount the kerb without help.

But it has also been claimed there is not enough dropped kerbs further up the street as it becomes Worcester Road, where many of the town’s independent traders are based.

Chris Hopes said he purchased a specially adapted car specifically to make life easier for his step-son Ian Rider who is confined to a wheel chair, but claimed the pavements in Great Malvern were often difficult to navigate.

William Chaundy, who walks with the aid of a stick, said he simply couldn’t get to some parts of the town.

“The pavements are dangerous for everyone but they are ten times worse if you are disabled,” he said.

“Most people walk looking straight ahead but I constantly have to look at the floor. I have seen many individuals fall over.”

Town Councillor Martin Lawrence blamed Worcestershire County Council for the state of the pavements and accused the highways authority of neglecting the needs of disabled people in Malvern.

He has quizzed the council on what ‘plans are in place’ for the provision of more dropped kerbs in the town as well as what the associated costs are and whether the public could raise funds to improve matters in the town.

Coun Lawrence said: “It seems to me that Worcestershire County Council need to be honest regarding their attitude to equality in Malvern. Wheelchair users should be able to park in the designated Belle Vue Terrace disabled car park space, then, in safety, mount the nearby kerb in order to visit our shops, the town council offices, post office and eating establishments”

In response County Coun John Smith, cabinet member responsible for highways, said: “Worcestershire County Council works with a number of disabled representatives from across the county to provide dropped kerbs and tactile paving for easier wheelchair access. Each of these applications are treated on an individual basis and as such there is no one set price.”

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