Laura Sharman 22 August 2017

Councils urged to make public spaces more accessible

Councils should ensure bins and other street furniture does not stop people with mobility issues from using public spaces, under guidance published yesterday.

The recommendations from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) sets out how councils can help the elderly, those with disabilities or parents using prams be more active in their area.

This includes keeping bins and hanging baskets out of the way on pavements, and changing the time between signals at traffic lights to give people more time to cross.

It also recommends using dropped down pavements and textured ground at pedestrian crossings.

Professor Mark Baker, director of the centre for guidelines at NICE, said: ‘It should not matter whether you are on foot, in a wheelchair, have a visual impairment or if you’re a parent pushing a pram.

‘If streets, parks and other open spaces are well planned, everyone should be able to get around their local area easily. Safe, accessible streets and well maintained parks can help people to get active and live longer, healthier lives.’

The guidance also says parks could be made more accessible by installing clearer signage, measures to reduce anti-social behaviour and having seats with arm and back rests.

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