Market layout is ‘not friendly’ to disabled

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A NEW layout for market stalls in Hemel Hempstead has been branded ‘not user friendly’ for disabled people.

A meeting of Dacorum Borough Council’s development control committee was called on to reject the layout because access from one side of Marlowes to the other is restricted.

Sharon Adshead told councillors: “As a disabled member of the public I am not pleased with the proposed layout as it’s not user friendly to people like me.

“For long parts of Marlowes there are no access points for people to move from one side to the other because the stalls will abut the planters. During cold or wet weather it will not be popular to take a long walk just to cross the street.”

But councillors instead voted to support the layout, which has already been redesigned once because of concerns about access and seating.

The plans include two layouts for different times of the year, with 68 stalls during the winter, placed closer to planters to enable hook-ups to lighting power points without trailing cables. In the summer the number of stalls is cut to 61 to give more room around planters.

Councillor John Whitman said: “The officers have come up with a good solution to this. Perhaps we could work out something in the plans that makes it slightly different and easier for disabled people.”

The contract to run the market – held for 12 years by Town and Country Markets – runs out later this year.