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May 2009


The Chichester Access Group members become increasingly busy and week ending Friday 1st May completed their first full Access Assessment Report for Chichester District Council.  This consisted of a thorough assessment of Chichester City Walls. Four members of the Group plus a photographer (who is also a wheelchair user) spent Wednesday 29th April ‘walking’ the perimeter walls of the City. This was to suggest improvements that could be made, now and in the future. The Walls should be enjoyed by all members of the community and visitors to our City regardless of age or disability.  The Group also suggested alternative routes where, because of the historical nature of the walls, the walls themselves were impractical.


Members of CAG at work


The Group has also been happy to be involved in the restoration and alterations to the Bishops Palace Gardens.  Access to this beautiful and restful area is being improved to make it easier for all to enjoy.

Another area involving the Group is Brandy Hole Copse, Chichester.  Following discussions between all concerned parties, one of the entrances on Brandy Hole Lane has been made wide enough to accommodate electric buggies. This will allow disabled users access to these perfectly delightful woods. At the time of writing the woods are overwhelmingly scented by bluebells.  The Group will soon complete a survey of the pathways in the Copse. This will enable a ‘recommended’ route to be put together.  It is some years since disabled people were able to access the Copse and enjoy the tranquillity of the woods.  The Group is delighted to be working with the Copse management to bring this about.

Problems were being experienced by disabled and elderly people at the new pedestrian crossing on St. Paul’s Road, Chichester.   Not enough time was allowed for them to negotiate their way safely from one side of the road to the other. A useful meeting was held at the site of the crossing between the Chairman of the Group and members of the Highways Team, West Sussex County Council.  As a result, the timing allowed on the crossing has been extended.  Plus the Highways Team are now aware of potential difficulties when crossing lights are situated behind the person using the crossing.

Another success story involves a complaint from a gentleman about difficulties he and his wife were having regarding access.  This was to the Britannia Building Society, North Street, Chichester.  A very small brass bell push had to be reached across a ramp (difficult to hit with a walking stick unless you’re a crack shot). The door was a heavy old-fashioned push/pull one.  Following representations from CAG Britannia management was sympathetic.  Whilst refurbishing they happily installed a nice new automatic door operated by the largest disabled access push button seen.  Thank you Britannia!