Motion by Councillor O'Neill - Reinforcing the Equal Pavements Pledge
1. “Notes motions from Councillor Claire Miller, ‘Equal Pavements Pledge’ which passed during Full Council on 23rd September 2021, motion by Councillor Derek Howie on ‘Street Furniture’ which passed during Full Council on 25th November 2021, and motion by Councillor Lesley Macinnes, ‘Accessibility Commission’ which passed during Full Council on 30th June 2022.
2. Understands that by passing these motions the Council agreed to support Transport For All’s pledge, meetings were requested with the Edinburgh Access Panel, and a report was requested looking at the impact of street furniture on ‘blind and visually impaired people, the wider disabled community and parents with buggies […] and how this should be aligned with [Cllr. Miller’s] motion.’
3. Further notes questions to Full Council on 4th May 2023 from Councillor Kayleigh O’Neill where reassurance was given regarding strategic context, A-boards, bin scheduling, dropped crossings and engagement with Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs).
4. Regrets that the majority of these pledges are not being met and reliable accessibility has deteriorated in recent years despite multiple updates to local and national guidance. This has led to complaints, injuries, discrimination, isolation and, as recent reports have found, insurance claims costing the city over £80,000 since 2018.
5. Agrees that more work is needed to address access considerations – i.e. surfacing, gradients, barrier-free access, continuity, directions, and crossings – in future guidance reviews and all work streams.
6. Reaffirms the Committee’s support for the Equal Pavements Pledge and informs the Accessible Streets Roundtable Discussion Forum of this, requesting it consider including the Pledge in its draft terms of reference and the following points as part of its discussions on an Accessibility Commission:
a) How we will continue to ‘Listen, and act’ off the back of engagement with disabled people, across impairment groups, who have been significantly erased from the conversation, and look at how our engagement processes themselves are often barriers to disabled people.
b) How we will work with Planning and Licensing colleagues to ‘Keep it Clear’ and maintain a minimum of 1.5m clearance on all pavements, especially during high-footfall seasons (August and December), with detail on the different street types.
c) How we will ‘Cut the clutter’ and operate a zero-tolerance approach to street clutter, especially during high-footfall seasons, with detail on the different street types.
d) How we will ‘Mind the trash’, reducing the issue of bags of rubbish being left on pavements, especially during high-footfall seasons.
e) How we will address the issue of improper and missing dropped kerbs across the city, with reference to short term solutions for problematic areas, and longer-term plans on how we ‘Drop the kerbs’ and audit our street space for further accessibility concerns.
f) How we will ‘Protect Blue Badge Bays’ and ensure residents or visitors that require accessible parking have full information on where they can park and drive in the city.
g) Finally, how the Council will continue to ‘Work with disabled experts’, acknowledging that disabled people’s lived experience and the integration of the Social Model of Disability is the answer to delivering all future street space schemes with accessibility at the core.”