Library Square Proposals
Discussion about proposed changes to disabled parking facilities at Library Square.
The group was informed about proposed changes to disabled parking facilities at Library Square. Officers explained that a scheme had been included in this year’s capital transport programme to improve the setting and access to the Explore Centre. The Explore Centre was a key facility and was currently used by around half a million people a year. This figure was set to rise to around a million. Unfortunately the environment around the building was very poor and there were concerns regarding safety and access.
Plans of the proposed development were circulated. Officers went through the proposals with the group. They explained that the scheme would include:
- Removal of the ramp and pavements to provide a level access.
- Removal of the disabled parking bays, which were currently substandard, and replacing them with one disabled parking bay with a time limit of one hour.
- Replacing the restricted parking provision in Blake Street and Lendall Street with disabled parking provision. This provision would comply with national standards.
- Improving the crossing points.
- Provision would remain for vehicles to enter the area outside the Explore Centre to drop off or collect passengers.
Officers informed the group that there would be a significant enhancement in overall disabled parking in the vicinity. The Group stated that they welcomed the fact that there would be more disabled parking in the area and that the area around the Explore Centre would be enhanced but they wished the following points to be taken into consideration:
- They were very concerned that there would be only one bay in the immediate vicinity of the Explore Centre. It would be difficult for people with walking disabilities to get from the disabled bays in the surrounding streets to the Explore Centre. They urged that consideration be given to including more than one bay close to the centre.
- The one-hour limit is not sufficient and is against the ethos of the Explore Centre.
- Some people prefer steps to ramps.
- Vast areas of pavement can be difficult for people who are visually impaired.
- The alternative parking provision in Blake Street and Lendall Street should be in place before the work commences at Library Square.
- Many disabilities are not visible and staff need to be more disability aware.
- There also needed to be more parking provision for the Visitor Information Centre.
Members of the Group asked if consideration could be given to changing traffic orders in Duncombe Place. Officers stated that there were no plans to do this under the current scheme.
Clarification was sought as to the arrangements that would be put in place if a member of staff at the Explore Centre required disabled parking provision. Officers stated that arrangements could be made for them to park at the rear of the building.
The officers thanked the Group for their feedback and stated that they would welcome the group’s involvement in the work that would be taking place to look at how access in the city centre could be improved.
The Group requested that when presentations were made to them, they were fully accessible, including the use of large font size on plans and documentation.
RESOLVED:That the views of the group be considered when decisions were taken in respect of the library square proposals.
REASON: As part of the consultation process.