Concerns about disruption when traffic is banned for Gardner Street in Brighton

Disability activists fear that closing a popular shopping street to everyone but pedestrians and cyclists could act as a “curfew” for people with disabilities.

Two disability groups – Possability People and Brighton Access for Disabled Groups Everywhere (Badge) – have criticized the proposal to close Gardner Street to all traffic except bicycles from 11am to 7pm Monday to Friday.

This would extend the current weekend closures.

The proposal to extend the closures to weekdays is due to come before the Council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee on Tuesday.

The program includes the removal of blue plaque parking bays from Gardner Street and the creation of additional parking spaces on adjacent Regent Street.

Possability People Chief Officer Geraldine Des Moulins is to lead a deputation before the Brighton and Hove City Council Committee.

She is scheduled to speak on behalf of Possability People and Badge before councilors decide whether to make the changes.

She is expected to say: “Gardner Street is a residential area and this closure would impose a curfew on disabled people, locking them in their own homes between 11am and 7pm and preventing them from attending important health appointments or leaving the area for any reason , which could affect their health and well-being.

“We contend that this is a human rights issue and a protection risk that was not addressed or even mentioned in the ‘Equality Impact Assessment’.

“However, the inadequate ‘Equality Impact Assessment’ presented to the Committee finds that the only group with protected characteristics who are disproportionately disadvantaged are people with disabilities.

“The only mitigation offered is that additional blue badge bays will be placed on nearby Regent Street.

“However, it must be recognized that blue badge holders are already allowed to park for a limited period of time, so this ‘reduction’ does not compensate for the removal of current parking spaces.

“Another issue that has not been addressed is the distance from Regent Street to Gardner Street.

“People who qualify for a blue badge may not be able to run, or if they can, only run very short distances.

“The ‘reduction’ means that blue badge holders would have to walk a minimum of 150 meters to 200 meters or more to gain access to the road, and that’s one-way only.

“No person receiving a mobility component can walk more than 200 meters. We contend that this is not mitigation but discriminates against 13,500 residents who are Blue Badge holders.”

The Argus: The plans are to be presented to the city councilsThe plans will be presented to City Council

The “Equality Impact Assessment” is part of the report presented to the Committee.

Disabled parking spaces were said to be used 23 hours a day, except when the road is closed at weekends.

The assessment stated: “The loss of disabled parking on Gardner Street will impede access to the street for blue badge holders.

“Disabled residents have stated that they cannot leave the house without direct access to a disabled parking space.”

According to the report, removing the bays would restrict access to Gardner Street for blue badge holders who could not travel more than 50 metres.

If councilors decide to keep Gardner Street closed on weekends only, officials have recommended that they approve seven additional disabled spots planned for Regent Street anyway.

This would include removing double yellow lines and marking disabled bays to make it a criminal offense for delivery drivers to load and unload in the car parks. Concerns about disruption when traffic is banned for Gardner Street in Brighton

Fry Electronics Team

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