Town centre working party sees problems
Councillors were given an ‘eye opening’ glimpse into issues that affect Bury St Edmunds’ disabled community during a walkabout in the town.
It was organised this week to see if changes could be made in line with the Bury Town’s Masterplan.
Both borough and town councillors joined disabled people from various groups to discuss their issues in the town.
Areas included the drop kerbing in the market square, placement of street furniture down Abbeygate Street and better signage in places such as Ram Meadow car park.
Tactile paving at crossings, changing of zebra crossing lines from white to yellow and highlighting bollards around the town were also discussed.
Geraldine McKeag, a member of the Moreton Hall Residents’ Association and who uses her guide dog around the town on a daily basis, said she hoped councillors would take in what they witnessed.
She said: “There are things here that could be solved quickly and others that are more difficult, but if they want disabled people like us to be out and more active in town they have to make it safe to walk around.”
Linda Hoggarth, chair of the Disability Forum for Suffolk, has been part of the advisory accessability group for the masterplan. She said: “St Edmundsbury is showing today what our councils can do by working with disabled people and this is an example of good practice.
“It would be great if all town councils did this as they don’t know the problems we face until they go with people like us who are affected.”
A council spokesman said: “We organised the tour so that we could see and hear first-hand from people with a range of disabilities about the issues of accessibility they face as they move around Bury St Edmunds town centre.
“There were lots of issues raised and these, alongside the results of our issues and options questionnaire earlier in the year, are now being used to shape a draft masterplan for the town centre.”