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We have had a busy year in 2011, and hope to add lots more to the list in 2012. We will add projects past and present on here, with updates to how they are getting on.

High Street Changes
The council have plans to remove all the disabled parking from the High Street and Head Street. We have been campaigning all year to stop this, as the suggested alternatives are simply too far away for Blue Badge holders to walk from. This is a major on-going issue that has yet to be resolved.

Assistance Dog Spending Area

We are asking the council to provide an area for assistance dogs to go to the toilet in the town centre.  As it is mostly pedestrianised, there is nowhere for dogs to go currently.

Colchester Access Audit
We hope in 2012 to audit the town centre. This will not in any way have any legal standing, nor will we be giving advice to shops. Instead we hope to find out whether shops are meeting basic accessibility, and to award those that are.  We can only carry out this project with volunteers. If you are willing to help us, please let me know at the contact us button at the bottom of the screen.

An Advertising frame count.
After undertaking an audit of all the A frames in the town centre and finding there were 243 on the day we counted, we campaigned to Essex County Council to see the number reduced, as well as a more considerable placement.  Putting frames in the middle of pavements is dangerous for those that can’t see them, blocks access for wheelchairs, mobility scooters and pushchairs.  It’s also a trip hazard. A committee was set up by Essex County Council, and then promptly disbanded. The latest information suggests the committee they are pushing for a zero-tolerance policy, which has been brought in to many other towns.

Doctor’s surgeries access survey
The group surveyed all 29 surgeries in Colchester, looking at accessibility and fed the information back to them.

Colchester bus services
We are liasing with local bus companies to try and improve access to transportation. A common issue is that buses are not stopping at the correct bus stop, which means people with visual impairments are unaware the bus is there. There does not seem to be an easy solution to this, as when the town has heavy traffic, the buses are keen to move on. We are working with the bus company to try and help this situation.

Quality Taxi Partnerships
FA2C are currently working with the taxi companies and Colchester Borough Council to provide training for taxi drivers, to enable them to recognise different disabilities and how to best to assist them.  We would like to see the cars be accessible as possible. It does look like the council are going to introduce this with a different name.

Car Park Survey
The proposed plans for the town centre currently include pedestrianising the High Street, which would mean losing all the Blue Badge parking bays currently available there. We are currently surveying all the car parks in the town centre to see what parking is available to Blue Badge holders, and the whether it’s actually accessible.

We also work with the council and individual shops to improve accessibility where possible.