Warrington Disability Partnership

Don't Block the Drop campaign : Spread the word or the impact will be lost !

Now here's a campaign that is dear to our hearts here at WDP. Over the last couple of years we have regularly featured issues around accessible public transport and tried to explain why when under your own steam the well designed "drop kerb" is without doubt one of THE most important access enablers of the last fifty years...or more !

Things are improving in Warrington

The drop kerb may look simple enough. Building them isn't rocket science but predictably expensive and full of debates around planning, health and safety, design discussions etc etc etc. Mention the need for a drop kerb and a shed load of folk in yellow bibs will surround you with clipboards and well meaning support. Try getting a drop kerb in your area and see what I mean. But truth is things are improving. Our local authority here in Warrington recently embarked upon a big project to resurface some local roads outside the town centre. As part of this they delivered significant improvements to the number, and quality, of drop kerbs in parts of the town. I was made up.

Inconsistent Kerbing

I admit things got a little less ace when I discovered that in two miles of new drop kerbs there were 'gaps' were no drop kerb was installed because...I suspect....the pavement ran across the entrance to a 'private' industrial estate, thus forcing you into a busy road to continue your journey. Which is a pain. Still....WBC deserve real credit for improving and enabling our environment but there remain areas of the town, mostly the older un-developed parts, where drop kerbs are a rare sight and it's incredibly hard, and unsafe, to get from a to b in your own community.

Improvements in dropped curb provision

So, it's good that there are signs of real improvements in drop kerb provision, perhaps a reflection of more people with influence understanding why this is such an important element of an accessible community...but what's the point if you get new well designed drop kerbs and motorists / lorry drivers park right across the drop and block your access ? It happens, a lot, and a bit like that old defense you hear from drivers when parking in a blue badge space. "It was empty"...some motorists just don't get it.

Campaign gets under way

So it's great to see the Don't block the drop campaign getting underway. It's been a few months now yet I sense that the initial momentum hasn't quite delivered the media attention we might have hoped for, and being honest I'm not sure disability organisations themselves have done enough to spread the word. This is all about education and communication leading to better understanding. Let's face it, if you really have no idea why a dropped kerb matters you aren't going to be overly concerned if your car is parked right across one are you ?

Find out more

Don't Drop The Block campaign:

About the author

Mark Wilson was a trustee on the WDP Board for five years, and a social media management lead until 1st May 2017. Mark's personal blogging website, The Blue Badge Blog, covers a wide range of disability issues, particularly accessible travel.

1st March 2016