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  • Rob Arbery

Deputation to Brighton Co

On 12th August 2020, BADGE Action Group wrote to ET&S & TECC Committee Chairs, setting out 5 red flag issues for Blue Badge parking/Disability Access. Badge & Possability People subsequently joined the informal weekly Advisory Group, set up in May - our first involvement in the Covid Transport Action Plan. The 3 resident Stakeholders (Community Works, Friends of the Earth, & Pedal People) represent the eco/cycling perspective. There are no Terms of Reference or Minutes. The Officer Report 5.1/5.2 states that the LCWIP involved workshops with accessibility groups representing equality/disability. Possability People were the only disability group involved in an online presentation (4/6/20) and their Position Statement refutes that this was meaningful Consultation (Appendix 1). The Council did not consult on the Disability element of the Equality Impact Assessment. The Sept 2020 Update to the Equality Impact & Outcome Assessment now states the Council will “Ensure essential access for disabled people is maintained ....Overall the number of disabled parking bays has not reduced ..... Where concerns about disabled access have been raised, traffic regulation orders have been amended and alternative accessible solutions have been sought.” 6 weeks on from sounding the Equalities Alarm, little, if anything, is resolved: TRO 14: Badge holders reported (into the Survey) that A259 Seafront disabled bays are inadequate/inaccessible/unsafe. Rear ramps can’t drop, the ‘safety buffer’ is narrower than a child’s wheelchair. Requests for a specific RA have been detoured via a 2nd generic Road Safety Audit. Our offer of (non)user feedback was not taken up. The “no loss of disabled bays” rhetoric masks that there’s only 7 bays along the whole seafront (plus the added loss of 88 P&D spaces backup). TR017/17a: wiped out 17(est.) Pier end Madeira Drive bays, stranding people far away @Dukes Mound. TRO 17a made the indignity of people asking a Gatekeeper to be allowed to use the #ChangingPlaces toilet official. TRO 11: 4 of the 8 listed Bartholomew Square disabled bays are missing, and a 3hr time limit reduces access to work & leisure. Social media pressure ensured the Duke Street replacement bays were finally painted in, meanwhile café customers brunched on the still half visible “disabled” marking of the removed ones. TRO 16: “reduce and relocate disabled bays (in Zone C, Zone Y)” took away 2 of the (only) 4 London Road bays (plus P&D backup), so this ‘on a budget’ shopping area has become a ‘no access’ zone; St James Street has lost meterage and gained a 3 hr time limit. TRO 12: was amended after 5 weeks to permit access to existing Gardner Street bays. The ‘creeping’ cafe furniture now makes the Laines unwelcoming for those with vision &/or mobility impairments. TRO 15: introduced a 2pm curfew for New Road badge bays, as well as the 3 hour time limit, despite the Road being open to traffic until 5pm. No alternative provision/regard has been made for disabled people to equally “Eat Out” there. We ask if The Council have fallen short of their Public Sector Equalities Duties, Tranche 1&2 Equalities requirements, Key Principle A of the City’s Urgent Response Transport Action Plan and Policy Framework, and the City’s own Vision & Values? We ask that the council makes urgent reparation to all parking issues, access and curfews, without further diversion, and commits to including future improvements to


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