Work to im­prove town’s ac­ces­si­bil­ity

Cambridge Edition - - YOUR HEALTH - EMMA JAMES

‘‘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

EMMA JAMES

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.

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