Accessibility in Leeds City Centre

Leeds City Council appears to be all about accessibility on their website – including having a statement on their website about how accessible they are! Shame they don’t have the same enthusiasm about their city’s pavements.

When a county or city boasts about accessibility, they need to be held to it. Thankfully, Leeds has tactile pavement on every crossing. But when it comes to wheelchair users – we’re still fighting for the right to exist in their world.

I’m talking about pavement slopes, flat kerbs, and sunken pavements.

If you’ve ever been to Leeds, and walked down Boar Lane, you’ll probably know that there is a very sunken piece of tactile paving outside of The Bankers Cat. From a distance, it doesn’t look like an issue. It just looks a bit wonky – like it might be a slope, you’ll have to push up. But instead, it’s prone to breaking wheelchair casters – the front wheels – due to a 5cm (estimate) drop from the rest of the pavement.

Between this being completely inaccessible for people in wheelchairs, it’s also a severe tripping hazard for the blind community.

According to a number of the disabled community in Leeds, this has been reported on a number of occasions with no change or update. Another report has been put in this morning about it. Fingers crossed, they’ll take the hint.

Though, this isn’t the only paving issue in Leeds City Centre. Plenty of drop kerbs/flat kerbs are extremely steep slopes instead of flat, causing chairs to tip or get stuck.

Maybe LCC will start listening sometime in the future – but I wouldn’t hold my breath, would you?



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