Women and Equalities Committee launch inquiry into shared space and accessibility

15 August 2016
 

The Women and Equalities Committee launch an inquiry into the accessibility of our homes, buildings and public spaces.

The inquiry documents says: 'The accessibility of our homes, buildings and public spaces is an issue not just for those of us with a permanent physical disability. With an ageing population, it is likely that more and more of us will experience reduced mobility in our lifetime. There are also other needs to consider, such as mental health. In this inquiry we explore the extent to which those needs are considered and accommodated in our built environment, and ask whether more could be done to increase the accessibility and inclusivity of both new and existing properties and spaces.'

The document also outlines shared spaces as an area of particular interest: 'Are the needs of all groups given adequate consideration in the design of streets, highways, parks and publicly accessible open spaces and in the provision of services such as public toilets? To what extent do shared space schemes in roads and highways cause barriers for disabled people and how can these be resolved? What opportunities are there for delivering greater accessibility and inclusivity alongside more age-friendly towns and cities, including liaison with the NHS?'

Committee Chair Maria Miller said: 'This area raises some interesting questions, and there is a great deal of scope for innovation. For example: how can building information modelling and modern methods of construction, contribute to making environments more accessible and inclusive? How can we deliver greater accessibility and inclusivity alongside more age-friendly towns and cities, including liaison with the NHS? To what extent do shared space schemes in roads and highways cause barriers for disabled people and how can these be resolved? We need to ensure that buildings and public spaces are as accessible and inclusive as possible, and that communities can fully engage with the process of decision making that shapes the accessibility of the built environment.'

 
 

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