This morning I joined Inspector Essi Ahari, two of his officers from Colwyn bay Station, Diversity Officer Chloe Davies, and Councilor Chris Hughes for an Environmental Visual Audit of the centre of Colwyn Bay.
The idea of an EVA is to look at the access issues surrounding a particular area from the point of view those of us who use wheelchairs or have other disabilities. Inspector Ahari, and officers Andy and Sian, were good enough to volunteer to come along with me and spend some time in a wheelchair to see for themselves what wheelchair users have to face on a daily basis.
We started from Colwyn Bay police Station and made our way down towards Station Road. The first problem we encountered was at the junction of Abergele Road and Woodland Road east. The kerbs here are very uneven and problematic for those who have mobility issues.
We then went down Station Road, which has been vastly improved in recent months, and turned in to the Bay View Shopping Centre. These pedestrian areas are much better and user friendly than if traffic is moving all round you. Here is Inspector Ahari finding out first hand what it’s like to maneuver a wheelchair in the street.
Back on Abergele Road, we came across another pet hate of mine. Rain Gullys! If these gullys sink at all, they become major obstacles for wheelchair users and can cause a chair to tip forward if you are not careful.
I would like to thank Inspector Essi and his Officers, Councilor Hughes and the Members of the Press who came along to do some interviews, for giving up their valuable time to bring these issues to the public eye.