The Accessibility Bedford Group has developed a wide range of activities aimed at improving access for the whole community. Good access design for people with mobility problems results in a much safer and more convenient environment for everyone.
Its work and efforts in lobbying the various local authorities has produced significant results.
Activities of the The Accessibility Group includes:
The Group carries out surveys in Bedford on topics such as dropped kerbs, poor conditions of footpaths, indistinct signs and hazards for people with sensory impairment. The Groups submits its findings to the Council as reports that recommend improvements.
Despite financial constraints, there have been some notable improvements and a substantial increase in the number of dropped kerbs with tactile warning surfaces. The Group is has now become recognised as an expert consultative body and has been requested to undertake access surveys in several important public buildings.
Shopmobility is free wheelchair and scooter loan service for shoppers with disabilities recommended to the Council by the Group. It is located in the Mobility Hub, Bedford town centre.
Accessibility Bedford's campaign for the Council to adopt an accessible taxi policy has resulted in an increased number of wheelchair-accessible taxis in the Borough.
There has been a marked increase in the number of 'A' Boards, advertising signs and shop stalls placed on public footways or pavements. These can be hazardous to people with impaired vision and can reduce pavements widths. Accessibility Bedford supports the Council's policy towards dealing with these obstructions and urges it to take enforcement action under the Highways Act.
The unauthorised use of street parking spaces designated for Blue Badge holders is a constant source of irritation to disabled people and their helpers. The Access Group is pressing for an improved level of policing and review of the Blue Badge issuing procedure.
Accessibility Bedford welcomes the support of all groups or individuals who are concerned with the needs of disabled people. If you would like more information or would like to become involved in any aspect of the Group's work please contact:
Disability Equality and Access Officer
Tel: 01234 718565
Textphone: 01234 718828