Shared space “all about cash”

Disability roadshow
Disability roadshow

More than 40 disabled people turned out to a roadshow in Kirkintilloch to get their views across about controversial ‘Shared Spaces’.

The Scottish Disability Equality Forum, which also incorporates East Dunbartonshire Access 
Panel, organised the ‘Disability Roadshow’ at Kirkintilloch Baptist Church last Monday.

A spokesperson for the forum said they wanted the views of disabled people to help get their message across.

Leading disabled campaigner Sandy Taylor, who is blind and who is heading the battle to halt work on the controversial design in Kirkintilloch town centre, hit out at the council, saying it was “all about money.”

Speaking at the roadshow, he said: “It is now almost two years since the shared space ‘trial’ and it was a complete shambles.

“A petition against it with 3,500 signatures was given to the council. It didn’t listen.

“This shared space is absolute nonsense. There has been no proper consultation .

“This is all about money. The council are getting funding from Sustrans for this. Now disabled people can no longer access the high street.”

Newly elected MSP Rona Mackay also attended last week’s roadshow.

In the run-up to this year’s general election as the SNP candidate, Ms Mackay said the shared space design had been “a disastrous decision” by East Dunbartonshire Council, adding: “The concept is not suited to Kirkintilloch, it is too busy.”

After last week’s roadshow, Ms Mackay said: “The roadshow was a fantastic way to bring people with disabilities together to make their voices heard. I took it as an opportunity to listen to what they had to say, and the efforts of organisers should be commended.

“People concerned with the shared space in Kirkintilloch will be glad to know Sandy Taylor is still fighting their corner.

“I am impressed with his dedication to the campaign, he has been a tenacious activist. I heard more of their views on the shared space last Monday morning.

“The Scottish Disability Forum has to be praised for holding the Disability Roadshow. People with a disability are still stigmatised and left behind in our society.

“While there is help out there from authorities we still rely on third sector organisations like the forum to help remove barriers faced by people who find themselves disabled.”