Our new report identifies more than 30 instances of York cycle infrastructure which do not comply with the Equality Act 2010. It comes with the warning that if City of York Council does not step into gear and rectify the problems, they will be forced to take legal action, which could end up with the council having to forkout as much as £50,000 for every person that pursues action via the small claims court.
The report, Inclusive and Disability Cycling in York details non-complaint infrastructure across York and details many types of disabled-friendly cycle infrastructure that a welcoming and inclusive city like York could adopt.
York proclaims itself ‘a cycling city’ and proudly claims ‘York has an extensive network of off-road cycle paths and on-road cycle lanes for cyclists of all ages and abilities to enjoy’ but this is simply not the case. The report highlights multiple barriers that disabled cyclists face in York, including physical barriers, narrow and dangerous cycle lanes and lethal junctions.
When faced with legal action in the past. York Council has chosen to simply continue with this discrimination and offer complainants out of court settlements. Earlier this year the council were challenged over the inaccessible nature of the barriers at the entrance to Hob Moor. The council chose to pay an out of court settlement but leave the barriers in place, leaving themselves open to repeated claims in the future. Paying out of court settlements is of little to no help to disabled cyclists who simply wish to access our city on a level playing field with everyone else. If legal action were taken on all the issues identified in the report it could leave York’s council tax payers with a bill of up to £50,000, per claimant.
The report’s author, John Skelton, has considered legal action but prefers to highlight the issues and has provided solutions in this report and hopes to work proactively with the council to see these illegal barriers removed.
Speaking on behalf of York Cycle Campaign, report author John Skelton said:
“York has a poor recent record for disability discrimination, removing blue badge parking and access to the city centre and even barring disabled councillors from meetings. Failure to address these issues is an embarrassment to our city and risks long-term reputational damage as well as costly legal action.
“We call on City of York Council to work with us and adopt the simple actions identified in our report to redress this discrimination against York’s disabled residents.”