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OLDHAM: Council issues update on disabled parking after complaints

Oldham Council has issued an update after members of the public raised concerns about disabled bays being relocated to a "steep and windy hill".

Seven disabled parking spaces in the car park on Fountain Street were removed earlier this week to accommodate for a temporary taxi rank.

The bays were repurposed following the closure of the Dan Fold rank next to Oldham central bus station because of demolition works taking place to remove the Snipe Inn building.  

Six disabled parking spaces have been relocated to New Radcliffe St outside the Integrated Care Centre. But some community members were concerned about how ‘accessible’ the new spaces, which now lie at an incline, are for all blue badge holders. 

Sara, an Oldham resident, said: “People who are already struggling with movement are now also going to have to struggle on a steep, windy hill.”

A council spokesperson acknowledged the difficulty. They said: “We’ve tried to accommodate disabled users by creating alternative disabled spaces immediately outside the ICC.

“Given the incline, these will be suitable for some disabled users, but these are in addition to existing spaces in other nearby car parks, including the 20 dedicated disabled bays in the car park off Fountain Street for people who would prefer to park there.

“Much of Oldham town centre is on an incline and we know this can make it difficult for people to get around.

“We’re addressing this through the town centre’s regeneration – which includes making improvements to accessibility and parking for all visitors in the long term which is a key priority for the council.”

The demolition at Snipe Inn is taking place to create a new entrance from the bus interchange to the high street on Henshaw St, which will include improved wheelchair access and safety.

Currently, the path takes visitors to Oldham town centre through a narrow lane next to Snipe Inn, which is prone to flooding – making it difficult to cross for people with mobility aids and people with prams.

The change to the parking layout coincides with building works taking place on the Civic Centre car park, which will take up two fully accessible dedicated disabled bays.

The council are working on relocating these to another part of the car park.

Blue badge holders can also park in any council-owned car parking space for free for up to three hours.

A council statement said: “When a disabled bay needs moving, we’re doing it as quickly as possible. We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused by these changes – they are helping us to continue our work to transform Oldham.”

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