Work to improve town’s accessibility
‘‘People think we should be used to living this way because we’re disabled, but it’s not how we should have to live. Disabled people aren’t accepted, they’re tolerated.’’
Council’s group manager, services Barry Bergin said it was disappointing to hear the feedback. He stressed all new council and private infrastructure is being built to the correct standard, and in some cases exceed the standard.
‘‘But the fact is that some infrastructure in Cambridge is old and standards over the years have changed. So given that, yes there will be some issues,’’ he said.
‘‘Where possible, and as fast as possible, we’re trying to fix those issues. For example, we’re retrofitting car parks and pedestrian crossing ramps to meet the newer standard. But sometimes things can’t be fixed because of sloping ground or limited space or where they’re located.
‘‘We’re doing what we can within the budget we have and we’re also making sure that anything new fully complies.’’
Bergin said council’s priorities for people with disabilities were developed in conjunction with disability advocacy group, CCS Action.
Recently some workshops were held to help identify troublespots. Further workshops were Waipa District Council
scheduled for Cambridge and Te Awamutu in May before budgets and priorities for next year are set.
‘‘This is similar to work we did about four years ago which helped prioritise spending and led council to budget $100,000 per year to upgrade disabled parking and footpath links.’’
‘‘We're doing what we can within the budget we have and we're also making sure that anything new fully complies.’’ Barry Bergin
This disabled toilet’s ramp on Thornton Rd is too steep and doesn’t have a flat transition from the ramp into the toilet room, making it difficult for people using wheelchairs to access.