Peterborough Unlimited: Struggles for people with disabilities highlighted in response to PT campaign

Struggles for people with disabilities to navigate around Peterborough city centre have been highlighted in response to the PT’s Peterborough Unlimited campaign.

By Joel Lamy
Thursday, 24th June 2021, 4:55 am

Readers have shared their experiences on Facebook after reading our coverage about why the city centre is not accessible for so many people, forcing them to shun the area and do their shopping elsewhere.


Peterborough Unlimited’ - Campaigners and PT unite to demand city centre improvements for disabled people

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The launch of the Peterborough Unlimited campaign. From left: Hayley, Matthew and Rebecca Stannard; Samanatha Stokes; Graham Barnes; Julie Howell; Julie Fernandez and Sarah Pilbean

The article which has received the most comments was the one entitled: ‘The nightmare of visiting Peterborough city centre if you are disabled’, which saw the PT join people with different disabilities on a tour of the centre to highlight the various problems which are said to need addressing.

The issues which came up are the ones the PT is campaigning on following extensive consultation with campaigners, including the need for improved access into Queensgate and better toilet facilities.

Below are some of the comments we received on our Facebook page:

. Brian Tapparno-Clark - “This has been raised so many times, the access from the station is rubbish, and what’s been done about it? Nothing, they just suck their breath in over their teeth and say “ yes it’s terrible” then carry on as normal.”

. Michelle Neale - “Try navigating inside some of the shops horrible experience, hit by bags as people pass you (sounds funny but it’s far from it).”

. Melanie Jean Tinkerbell Gates - “I’ve just got back from the City centre. I’m a Amputee full time wheelchair user myself. The problems I had just getting from A to B was horrible. There is a Market down the middle of Bridge Street which is great. If your able bodied. But made it almost impossible to get past people darting here there and every where. That’s on top of it the problems highlighted by other wheelchair users. Something needs to be done to help us be able to enjoy our City too !!!! X”

. Jonathan Pestell - “I remember at school 6th form a teacher took groups into town to go round town blindfolded or in a wheelchair this kind thing needs to happen MORE to get people all ages to UNDERSTAND...”

. Janice Kirby - “And visually impaired people as well, they have the added obstructions with out door eating and advertising boards to contend with.”

. Michael Marsh - “As a wheelchair user I stopped going into the town centre years ago! There’s a lack of disabled parking, paving that is not level or is dangerous, and places still have steps, no ramp or so it was when I stopped. It might have changed but I cannot chance it!”

. Deljit Singh - “Sadly the rush to attract diners and drinkers means pubs, bars, cafes have more tables and chairs outside so less room for wheelchair users. Peterborough isn’t as bad as London thankfully where wheelchair users can’t use some pavements and diners/drinkers begrudge moving their chairs. This issue has been ignored for far too long as has cars parking up on kerbs and blocking pavements for wheelchair users.”

. Sandra Coenen - “Being a support worker of people of very different needs and abilities it has gone through the years of people doing talks and various ideas of vast improvements sadly to no avail and I’m guessing the need for financial support wasn’t really deemed as a great need which sadly for the persons affected and people supporting them is a frustrating and hard way to consider a day out to town.”

The changes being called for by the Peterborough Unlimited campaign are:

- Building of a fully accessible toilet block in the city centre

- The creation of a disability officer post at the council

- More Blue Badge parking spaces

- Keeping St Peter’s Arcade permanently open

- Improved access for disabled people into Queensgate.