THE chairman of Disability Action Wyre Forest has urged council chiefs to address his group’s concerns about a major £1 million town centre redevelopment scheme for Kidderminster.
Mark Lawley said the action group was worried about plans for disabled parking at the new public square outside Kidderminster Town Hall and the proposal to open up Worcester Street to traffic, which could include a shared surface between the road and footpath.
Wyre Forest District Council leader, Conservative councillor John Campion, stressed plans were in the concept stage and user groups would be consulted as the project moved towards a planning application later this year.
Plans for the town hall public square, to be known as Exchange Place, show disabled parking spaces would be moved to Exchange Street, where the bus stops currently are, opposite the taxi rank.
Mr Lawley said: “It is very important to ensure new parking bays are well marked, with a low kerb and safe marked zone between bays and passing traffic.
“The street is not very wide – when someone needs to go to their car they could be opening their door into the traffic when the taxis are opposite. The concern for Worcester Street is somebody who is visually impaired may not really know where the roadstarts and the footpath ends.
“My message to the council is to talk to everybody. We want it to be good– it is good something is being done but only if it is done properly.”
Mr Campion said: “We are going to come forward with a lot of details and one of our primary drives is not only for the improvements to look nice but also accessibility and usability.
“We want to include the views of all user groups before we go to the details stage. They are right to have these concerns and we want to work with them to resolve them.”
Other projects which are part of Kidderminster’s public realm improvements include changes to the Bull Ring, which could see the flattening of Crown House and the return of Grade II-listed Richard Baxter statue.