The pandemic has led to a growth in outdoor eating spaces as businesses try to create safe spaces for diners which meet the changing legislation on how and where they can sit. However, these often add extra 'street furniture' and occupy the pavements which should be for pedestrians.
Katie Pennick has been exploring the implications of this for people like herself who use a wheelchair, or others who may be visually impaired and not expect the pavement to be blocked with clutter, barriers, furniture, taped down cabling etc.
She has been working on a report on this issue for TfL, called 'Pave the Way' exploring Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) which were introduced in cities such as London.Follow her on Twitter here.
Fun fact about me: I use a ‘teenagers’ wheelchair. It’s tiny. 23inches wide.— Katie Pennick (@KatiePennick) May 3, 2021
If I’m struggling to get through these “gaps”, they are completely impassable for most wheelchair users and visually impaired people with dogs.
Pavements must be kept clear enough for pedestrians. pic.twitter.com/ey0bQawdAr
There are also lots of images of narrow pavements with tables and chairs, which block it. Investigating issues in your local area could perhaps form the basis for a local field trip.
The story was featured in today's i newspaper.