£6.5m Spalding centre criticised over access

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BOSSES of Spalding’s new Red Lion Quarter have vowed to review the disabled access to the £6.5million centre after complaints from a partially sighted visitor.

Great grandmother Marjorie Bos (78) has hit out at council planners for allowing the venue to be built with two steps leading to the entrance off Red Lion Street.

Mrs Bos (78) suffers from macular degeneration – a condition that leads to loss of sight in the central visual field – and says she could have easily fallen down the steps.

The Spalding pensioner says she paused to look up at the building and, luckily, looked down and saw the steps at the last second.

She said: “They are going down, they are not steps going up. If it’s steps going up you would feel it. If it’s going down it’s too late.”

Mrs Bos said she complained to a man at the security office at the site on Friday and feels the entrance will be a hazard to others.

She said: “He said it is being looked into.

“How many months have they been building it?

“I can’t understand how it’s got to this stage.”

Red Lion Quarter general manager Richard Baggaley said that the centre fully complies with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), but that a meeting will be held with officers from South Holland District Council’s building control team this week to see if anything more can be done to help blind and partially sighted visitors.

He said: “We are taking this seriously. We have acted swiftly and we are talking to building control, the architects and the planners.

“The problem is there has got to be a balance.

“Do you want bright yellow arrows in front of the building?

“It’s a combination of awareness, colour and planning – it’s not easy.

“The last thing we want is people falling over before they have got into the building.”