Flawed decision on inaccessible bridge
Dear Sir, — In last week’s Sandbach Chronicle, a feature article focused on the ombudsman’s decision relating to a footbridge linking two outlying housing developments in Sandbach, the provision of which would reduce the travel between the development and the station by over a mile.
Mr Bunte, a local resident and cyclist, had sought to have an independent view on the failure of Cheshire East Council to ensure that the footbridge provided by two adjoining developers included facilities for cyclists and other users. Obviously there has been a breakdown in communication between the parties involved in the provision of the bridge.
What I find most disappointing about this ombudsman’s decision is the failure to recognise that not only were cyclists disadvantaged but the disabled, the visibly impaired, those in wheelchairs, those with mobility scooters and parents with pushchairs were also disadvantaged.
The ombudsman clearly thought that it wasn’t too much trouble for cyclists to dismount for a short period, but overlooked the plight of others.
In this day and age, it is alarming that those in authority and with influence are still living in the dark ages by setting aside the needs of those less fortunate than themselves.
The ombudsman’s role is to determine whether correct procedures have been followed and if not, how much someone is disadvantaged by the failure.
Does it really need a whole disadvantaged community to bring a case before action is taken?
Disability discrimination has been around for much longer than the construction of this footbridge. — Yours faithfully,