RADDAG

Rochdale and District Disability Action Group

17 Aug 17

Barriers to Canal Access

RADDAG have recently been contacted by Councillor Ted Flynn who had received a complaint from a local resident who was unable to access Rochdale Canal using the newly refurbished towpath near the Slattocks locks as new barriers have been installed.

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RADDAG have recently been contacted by Councillor Ted Flynn who had received a complaint from a local resident who was unable to access Rochdale Canal in Castleton using the newly refurbished towpath near the Slattocks locks as new barriers have been installed which his electric wheelchair cannot fit through.

RADDAG sent Ian Cross from our access team to investigate and was shocked at what he found. "I observed a family riding pushbikes along the towpath, they had to leave the towpath due to it not continuing past the bridge, they were then unable to get through the new barriers because the barriers are too narrow, and had to physically lift their cycles over the top of the barriers, when I walked through I was unable to do so without walking sideways, these barriers are too narrow and restrict access for disabled people.  There is a larger vehicle access gate provided however this is locked with a padlock. I am concerned that a disabled person may access the towpath further down the canal and then upon reaching the bridge would be unable to go any further and would have to find an alternative way of leaving the towpath, most probably returning to where they originally started.

Access to the towpath is further hindered not only by the steep gradient of the path but by the gravel on the path which has been used in place of a solid surface.  I can see no benefits of using gravel when all other paths leading up to the towpath have a tarmac surface. Further to this it is quite ironic that dropped kerb access has been provided although wheelchairs, pushbikes and prams are unable or find it very difficult to get through the barriers to reach the canal."

Councillor Ted Flynn has contacted British waterways who installed the barriers and is awaiting a reply.

We would like any reader who has come across this type of barrier within the Borough of Rochdale to contact RADDAG.

 


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