A charity challenge has prompted renewed calls for action to be taken over the state of Aberdeen’s pavements.
A trio of councillors – Liberal Democrat Steve Delaney, Conservative Claire Imrie and the SNP’s John Cooke – made the journey from Union Square to the Town House in wheelchairs to learn more about the difficulties faced by disabled people in the city.
The challenge was organised by the charity Future Choices, with the councillors accompanied on the journey by a number of wheelchair users.
A similar event was organised three years ago, with the aim of encouraging action to make the city more accessible – but bosses at the charity say too little has been done.
On their journey via the Green and Union Street, the councillors encountered busy roads, cobbles, uneven surfaces and missing drain covers.
And Mr Cooke said the experience had been an “eye-opener” for them.
He said: “When you are sitting in the chair you get a completely different perspective.
“It was really worthwhile and useful and I would urge anyone making policy decisions to have a go at it.”
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Ms Imrie said: “I think it’s good for councillors to see these challenges to understand what needs to be done going forward.
“You really see what needs to be made more accessible for people.”
Mr Delaney called for more to be done to ensure the city is a safe place for wheelchair users.
He said: “It was quite difficult at some of the sections and it was a reminder of the challenges people face every day.
“It’s not going to change overnight but this has raised awareness with others, and I think the more councillors who get experience of this, the more thought will be put into future projects.”
A similar exercise was carried out in 2017, but Future Choices claim not enough has been done to improve the city.
Lesley-Anne Bremner, the charity’s secretary, said: “Nothing has changed in three years. Councillors need to realise how bad it is for people in wheelchairs.
“It was good of the councillors to take part. There is a real need for this to raise awareness.”
Devon Thompson, a member of the management committee at Future Choices, said the councillors’ struggles proved how difficult the city is to negotiate in a wheelchair.
He added: “You can’t understand what life is like for disabled people until you are in their shoes.
“Unfortunately the councillors did have a bit of a rough time but I am glad they experienced it at its worst, because that is how everyone else has to deal with it on a daily basis.
“There is a lot of work to be done and it needs to happen now before it gets worse.
“The disabled community need to have a voice.”