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Supporting and empowering people with disabilities

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Email us: info@unltdox.org.uk

Results of our city centre survey 2018

9 October 2018

This summer Unlimited has been surveying shops, banks and cafes in the main shopping streets of the city centre (outside of the Westgate Centre) to check their accessibility for disabled people.

Of the 136 City centre business surveyed so far (up to the end of September) overall access was better than we thought it might be, but there are still problems for wheelchair users, those with limited mobility and people with a sight and hearing impairment.

Most premises did have a ramp if they had a stepped entrance, but only one advertised this fact with sign. Shops did not have a working bell on the door for potential customers to attract the attention of an assistant. Some shops had a cramped layout too, making it difficult to get around in a wheelchair and scooter.

The survey so far showed:

  • ˇ         General shops - 84% had level access or ramps, but only 50% had an accessible toilet;
  • ˇ         Clothing shops - 87% had level access or ramps, 61% had an accessible changing room, but just 17% had an accessible toilet;
  • ˇ         Banks / building societies - 100% had level access, but none had an accessible toilet;
  • ˇ         Hairdressers / barbers - 0% had level access or ramps and none had an accessible toilet;
  • ˇ         Cafés / pubs - 68% had level access or ramps and 54% had an accessible toilet.

The larger premises were better generally, but there is improvement needed at hairdressers and barbers and in the catering sector.  It explains why Marks & Spencer's cafe is so popular with elderly and disabled people having a large lift, decent size accessible toilets (although we find the flush handle badly situated in the ladies'), helpful staff and accessible changing rooms if you need to try on some clothing.

We aim to put the final results of the survey on our website when complete.

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Cathy Dave Kathy Nora Rosemary Sandra John Valerie