Campaigners brand disabled parking bays along Brighton seafront 'dangerous'
Report by Charlotte Wilkins
Brighton and Hove Council has admitted that some disabled parking bays along the seafront are dangerous for some wheelchair users. However, campaigners want to know why nothing has been done, even after 10 months of raising concerns.
The bays were moved to accommodate a new cycle lane during the pandemic last year.
Some wheelchair users and carers say it means many disabled people aren't able to access the beach.
Ricky Perrin, a former window cleaner from Brighton who became paralysed after a fall from a window, says the right bays in the right place make a huge difference to people's lives.
Ricky Perrin, former window cleaner
The city council says that while the bays meet design standards, they recognise why they are potentially dangerous to some users. It's currently investigating additional bays to improve further access.
Campaigners say they've been raising concerns about the new bays for almost a year.
Pippa Hodge, Badge Action Group
In a statement, Cllr Amy Heley, chair of Brighton and Hove City Council's environment, transport and sustainability committee said, "As part of the phase 1 works on the seafront there was no change to the number of disabled bays, but some are offset from the kerb with additional space provided either side to ensure additional safety and access at these locations.
“We do recognise that while this meets the design standards, people do still need to take care when near vehicles or for passengers exiting vehicles, due to the location. So we do recognise why it is still potentially dangerous to some users.
“We are currently investigating additional parking bays along the seafront to further improve access. Council Officers are still investigating the viability of additional disabled bays, as there are a number of factors to consider and residents and businesses to consult, these matters do take time. I have asked Officers to continue to keep you updated.
“So, to answer your question, I do think it’s probably taking too long but we’re doing all we can to speed it up."