Two wheelchair users challenged local councillors to explore Cheltenham in a wheelchair last week, in a campaign for more accessible streets in the Gloucestershire town.
Dave Evand and Kay Torres, who both use electric wheelchairs challenged the town’s Mayor Klara Sudbury and councillor Iain Dobbie to try some of the most difficult routes in the town.
Dave, a father of two and former manager of youth services, has Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) – a progressive condition that affects the nervous system.
He said: “Disabled people need accessible streets so we can get out and about and take part in our local community.
“It’s great that councillors could see the problems we face first-hand and recognise the need for change.
“I want the pavements safe not only for wheelchair users but for pedestrians too.
“Gloucestershire County Council is investing £150 million in the road network. Some of that money needs to be spent on necessary improvements to our streets. Raising awareness among local politicians and in local communities is an important step to highlight issues disabled people face every day.’
The group tackled the pavements on Leckhampton Road and Bath Road. where wheelchair users face ‘constant problems.’
Dobie, the deputy leader of Gloucestershire Liberal Democrats, said: ”It was an eye-opening experience for me.
“We will be taking what we’ve learned today back to the council and will be considering what we can do to make sure Cheltenham is an inclusive place to live.’
Sudbury added: ”It was fantastic to see Dave and Kay today and to visit Gloucestershire House – a great opportunity to meet people and find out what really matters to them.
“We welcome feedback and want to make the town more accessible to all.’