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Calls for more quiet places for disabled people in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 13:26 22 July 2018 | UPDATED: 13:33 22 July 2018

Gentlemans Walk, Norwich city centre.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Gentlemans Walk, Norwich city centre. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

A woman from Norfolk is calling for more quiet places for disabled people in Norwich.

Anita Brinded, has used a mobility scooter to get around for the past three years.

Living in Hoveton, near Wroxham the 53-year-old says she regularly comes to Norwich but feels the lack of accessible toilet facilities in the city, particularly those away from crowded places can make the experience difficult and sometimes upsetting.

Acknowledging that there are a number of accessible toilets in the city, Ms Brinded said she often found herself planning her day around where she knows there are facilities.

She said: “It always depends on where you are and if you’re with someone or on your own. I plan my day around where I feel comfortable and safe.”

Explaining the ‘awful’ feeling of not always being able to guarantee there would be suitable toilet facilities near to where she was Ms Brinded said she often ‘panicked’ about where she would be able to find a toilet or quiet place.

She said: “I would like to see more toilets in quiet places. Norwich isn’t accessible to a lot of people, not everybody can cope with going inside shopping centres. A combination of things I cannot cope with are lots of people and noise.

“It’s important to get out and about and be independent. If there where special places around Norwich where there were accessible toilets that were in quiet places and where you could go that would be good.”

A spokersperson for Norwich City Council said: “There are a number of public toilets in the city centre owned and managed by Norwich City Council and we do our utmost to ensure they are accessible to all. There are also facilities that other organisations and businesses provide throughout the city in a variety of different types of locations.”

George Saunders, co-chairman of the Norwich Access Group which campaigns for better access to all aspects of life in Norwich and works with city council said anyone who wishes to raise an issue with them should visit the group’s website.

She said: “If you’re a disabled person who feels strongly about access in Norwich come and take part.”

Visit http://www.norwichaccessgroup.org.uk/

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