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The York Disability Rights Forum has objected to new pedestrian zones where vehicles cannot access roads at certain times. Campaigners say the new footstreet proposals would increase the disadvantages for disabled people and could result in some people being “excluded” from the city centre.
They said: “Far from minimising disadvantages suffered by disabled people, City of York Council’s decision to make the footstreet extensions permanent increases them.
“The steps being taken to improve access to the city centre are slow in coming and, as we have stated previously, are still going to result in some disabled people being excluded from the city centre permanently.
“We continue to hear from people affected by the changes.
“The devastating impact it has on their day to day life, their quality of living, feeling of belonging and social lives has been horrific to hear about.”
The campaigners added York should be “welcoming” and warns they could be in breach of rules surrounding the Equality Act.
The Act says advancing equality involves removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people.
York Disabled Rights Forum said the human rights approach had “not been adopted” when looking at the new plans.
They said: “York is a Human Rights City and as such should be welcoming, and accessible, to all residents and visitors regardless of their identity or background.
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“Recently the York Human Rights City Network released a statement concluding that a human rights approach has not been adopted in developing the current plans for the footstreets.”
The York Human Rights City Network added the new changes would have a “detrimental effect” on disabled citizens.
He said: “We have concluded that a human rights approach has not been adopted in developing the current plans.
“The disproportionate impact of the plans on some of York’s disabled citizens has been highlighted by Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) such as York Disability Rights Forum and York Accessibility Action.
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