Access to streets was identified as a priority theme in the Moray Council’s Equality Outcomes, published in April 2013. The full document can be accessed here.
The theme was identified in partnership with the Moray Equalities Forum which contains local groups representing the various protected characteristics. The forum felt that the theme had the potential to promote equal opportunities within the wider community and, in partnership with the Moray Council’s Equality and Diversity Corporate Advisory Forum, developed proposals to implement the theme.
The Moray Equalities Forum felt that the theme is of special interest to elderly people, people with a disability and families with pushchairs but also has wider benefits to the community. Improved access to streets can enhance the perception of safety within a community. The Moray Council’s safer communities surveys of 2006 and 2009 found that the perception of safety was more related to physical features of and familiarity with neighbourhoods than with actual crime figures. Increased footfall within certain areas can also benefit local businesses.
In partnership with the Moray Equalities Forum it was agreed to undertake a three year programme which includes the following activities:
- Invite the various community groups in Moray to take part in training on community street audits, to be delivered by Living Streets Scotland;
- Liaise with those groups to carry out a systematic programme of street audits aimed at identifying accessible routes and barriers to accessible routes.
- Prioritise actions to be taken to improve accessibility, based on the street audits.
- Raise awareness of how the general public can contribute to improving accessibility.
- Produce a map of accessible routes in Moray, possibly using different grading of accessibility. The criteria for those gradings will be established in partnership with the community groups taking part in the programme.
- Use the information from the community street audits to develop a local knowledge base of accessibility issues which can assist in the design of future developments in Moray.
Please see Living Streets Scotland’s report Elgin Plainstones Community Street Audit
Over the last 5 years The Moray Council has been responding to requests from wheelchair users to improve access. In addition, a Traffic Engineer regularly visits the Resource Centre in Elgin to meet with users from throughout Moray to identify locations where improvements can be made. Please see a list of dropped kerbs that have been installed upon request over the last three years.