EDAs response and position on Enfield Cycle Lane Scheme
Enfield Disability Action (EDA) is concerned about the Cycle Enfield scheme as it does not appear that the needs of people with impairments in the borough, in particularly those who live along various routes have been taken into account.
EDA was asked by Enfield Council if we were able to be consulted on the scheme, unfortunately we did not and still do not have the staffing capacity to do this affectively. We were given 17 maps of the areas which the scheme would affect and in order to be affective we would need to respond to every aspect of the scheme, this would mean taking valuable time and resources away from other services and consultations. The content of the consultation was not easily accessible for people with learning disabilities and physical disabilities to read. We did however participate in putting together a response for the learning disabilities partnership board and we continue to support any disabled people who wish to make their views known on their local schemes and to support any campaign groups who would like assistance in the best ways to include disabled residents. Below is a general statement outlining our concerns:
It was acknowledged through the consultation that those who have blue badges will be disadvantaged by the scheme as there would be less places for people to park safely. It often takes those with mobility impairments longer to get in and out of vehicles.
The adjustments that have been made to the scheme seem to presume that drop off points are sufficient. This is not the case. For those who use blue badges and need support and supervision, the drop off points will not work. This could include a wide variety of people with different impairments including those with learning difficulties, those who are Deaf Blind and many others. For these people drop off points are not sufficient. Drop off points also assume that blue badge holders rarely travel on their own, the car parking spaces along many of the routes are not sufficient and increase the distances that people will have to travel. This distance clearly disregards the 50 metre rule meaning that in order to get a blue badge a person has to demonstrate that they are unable or have severe difficulty in walking more than 50 metres. The distance from the parking spaces to the shops in many cases are much further.
EDA is also concerned about the safety of people crossing the road and getting on and off buses. This concern was addressed in the consultation however there is no assurance that the buffers will be accessible to wheelchair users and they will not be left stranded. In addition, those with visual impairments and those who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing have raised concerns about the safety of being able to cross the road as cyclists often cannot be seen or heard easily and can approach quite fast.
People with learning difficulties have said that the scheme and the method of crossing the road would be confusing. It is important for safety that crossings are as visible and accessible as possible. Concerns have been raised about the informality of crossings. EDA would like to see these genuine concerns addressed and satisfactory solutions found.