Councils urged to stamp out access issues in local communities

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is urging local councils to allow better access for people limited mobility to be more active in their area.

In a bid to encourage those with limited mobility to become more active, NICE is calling for more accessible streets. The organisation is urging local councils to install pedestrian crossings with dropped-down pavements for wheelchair users, textured ground for people with visual impairments and enough time to cross.

The body also called local authorities to encourage people to visit their parks and open spaces as well as keeping obstructions like parked cars, hanging baskets or bins out of the way on pavements.

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Professor Mark Baker, director of the centre for guidelines at NICE, said: “It should not matter whether you are on foot, in a wheelchair, have a visual impairment or if you’re a parent pushing a pram. If streets, parks and other open spaces are well planned, everyone should be able to get around their local area easily. Safe, accessible streets and well maintained parks can help people to get active and live longer, healthier lives.”

Andy Jones, member of the NICE guideline committee, added: “Everyone should be able to have the choice to be active if they want to be. Making sure local streets and green spaces are attractive for everyone, including those with limited mobility is incredibly important. This guideline provides help on how to make local areas more accessible for all.”

The NICE recommendations are out for consultation until October.

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