We've been busy lately. Here are some of the things we've been up to:
Priority Budgeting meetings
Three of our members have been very busy attending Priority Budgeting (PB) meetings at Stirling City, Dunblane and Aberfoyle. Discussions focussed around accessible play/exercise equipment for two playparks, improvement of a road streetscape, accessible public toilets, path trails, active travel routes and a Changing Places Toilet.
Accessible Holiday Pod
SAAP were asked to assist with the design of an Accessible Holiday Pod and a raised garden which is being developed by the Callander Youth Project.
Changing Places Toilet at Pirnhall Service Station
We advised the Design and Build Consultant for the proposed new Changing Places Toilet at the Pirnhall Service Station by the M90/Bannockburn, that various necessary changes to the layout and equipment was required. He said that the design was governed by the remit of the Moto Group with their budget and “sadly will not be carried out unless things change once I have planning consent”.
Historic Environment Scotland's plans for Doune
SAAP had a very constructive discussion with Gary Treacy of HES over two paths near Doune Castle and the Roman Fort, including a pedestrian bridge over the Ardoch burn. The main issue was the proposal of 1200mm wide paths. We pointed out that this was too narrow and where possible paths should be 2000mm wide, complying with the Paths for All guidance in “The Lowland Path Construction Guide”. Gary agreed to improving path widths where possible. Path signage, added seating, higher fencing, parking and visual changes to the step ramp were all discussed and agreed.
Local Development Plan
Our comments were acknowledged by Stirling Council over the recent Draft Supplementary Guidance for the Local Development Plan.
Scotland's Strategic Transport Review Plan
We commented to Jessica Anderson who is consulting about the Forth Valley Region STPR2 Transport Plan. There is little recognition of the needs of disabled users, particularly for people who mostly come from a rural location in Stirlingshire and can only use old and dirty public buses. Other aspects being promoted like Active Travel, is just not viable for most disabled uses. The key use of taxis was not commented on in the Plan. Jessica acknowledged our comments.
Church Centre in Upper Craigs, Stirling
The recent approval by the Council Planning Committee of a Café at the Church Centre in Upper Craigs was disappointing, as SAAP had pointed out to the architect & Planning, that under the Equality Act 2010, there should have been an accessible WC included.
Cycle Routes through Stirling
We attended the Walk, Cycle, Live re-launch event recently in the Albert Halls and although we requested accessible cycles to be on display, there were none. SAAP members have been invited in February to meet Kayleigh Webster, the manager of this project, to discuss the details of the two cycle routes which the council wish to develop. It should be noted that SAAP had a meeting over a year ago with four officers from Sustrans, and the route details are still no further forward!
Bus Hub at Stirling University
The long-standing issues with Stirling University Director of Estates regarding the pedestrian ramp at the bus hub has not progressed since May of this year.
We consider the ramp unsafe, as most of it is without safety hand rails and it has a drop of more than 3 metres.
Also, there are no obvious landings (flat areas) where wheelchair users can stop and rest when climbing the lengthy ramp. The impasse has been highlighted to the University Chancellor and Vice Chancellor for action.