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The panel has played a role in the major redevelopment of Kilwinning town centre by consulting with Irvine Bay Regeneration (IBR) and in particular James Ledgerwood. We make regular site visits, raising various points for improvement which were taken on board and were instrumental in changing the way that phase 2 of the redevelopment proceeded. We highlighted the difficulties caused for anyone with a disability, as well as the general public, in accessing the shops using unsuitable temporary tarmac ramps, which was the way that phase 1 was carried out. The feedback we received from the shop owners, and the general public, was very positive as disruption to the entrances to the shops were kept to a minimum in the second phase of work, as IBR changed its procedures.

Improvements for Shoppers With Visual Impairments.

After bringing to Tesco’s attention the danger to shoppers with visual impairments, as they move through the car park, they agreed to make adjustments. Tactile paving has been placed, where pedestrians are crossing the roadways within the car park, on the route coming from Homebase towards the store entrance.

Improvements to Crossings.

While funding was available from the Roads Department, the panel drew up a list of where new or reconstruction of dropped curbs were necessary or preferred. Thankfully a lot of these were provided, though there are many that weren’t due to lack of funding.

Having previously attended a meeting of the Access Panel, representatives of the ferry company accepted an offer from the panel to carry out an informal audit on the terminal and ship on the route between Ardrossan and Brodick. A discussion about the results of the audit took place after its completion with Robbie Brown, the area manager, and Sandra Sturgeon, manager of the Ardrossan terminal.

Changes have taken place as a result of the recommendations made in the audit, with other recommendations needing a longer term plan of implementation, leading to improvements In service and facilities.

In September the Access Panel met with representatives from various areas including NAC departments of Transportation, Infrastructure and Design Services, Community Planning Partnership and others, along with Strathclyde Police and the Rivergate Shopping Mall, to discuss the implementation of the disabled Persons parking bill.

The panel were pleased to find that the Council had started the process needed and we were also pleased with the response to our questions. We look forward to working with the Council and others on this vital piece of legislation. Hopefully this will go some way of ending the inexcusable abuse of disabled parking bays.

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