DISABLED residents are cut off from Chichester by the inadequate state of a pedestrian bridge over the A27.
This is the opinion of many Stockbridge residents, who said the steepness of the bridge’s spiral slope made it almost impossible to use in a wheelchair.
“It’s a very emotive issue,” said Derek Allnutt, of Manor Close, in Stockbridge.
“It’s important for disabled people. The fact it wasn’t mentioned at the referral meeting was bad.”
The meeting he referred to was the district council’s planning applications referral committee (PARC), which recently gave the go-ahead to 112 homes on nearby land.
Mr Allnutt said he believed the development by Barratt Homes would force more people onto the A27, as more people would be unable to use the footbridge.
He also criticised the state of the canal path on the southern side of the A27 and said, contrary to previous statements by Barratts, the path did not provide an alternative to the pedestrian footbridge
“They’re saying we’re already provided for,” he said of Barratts.
“We’re saying we’re not adequately provided for.
“I do think they’ve overlooked the disabled aspect of it.”
The Stockbridge footbridge is designed with a continuous spiral, which makes it hard for those in a wheelchair to cross it.
“If you look at the bridge at the Bognor roundabout and the one at Tangmere, they’re built to different standards,” he said.
He added the footbridges at the Tangmere and Bognor roundabouts were built with shallow slopes and resting points.
“If you compare the three bridges this one probably takes more foot traffic,” he said.
“My objective was to demonstrates that wheelchairs can’t be used safely over the footbridge.”
He said he hoped to get a safer alternative route to the footbridge and the towpath to ‘satisfy the needs of disabled people in the area’.
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