CONCERNS have been raised that a trial ‘cafe culture’ scheme did not take into consideration the needs of the disabled.
Belmont Street, Little Belmont Street and Gaelic Lane are closed to nearly all traffic from 11am to 6pm, seven days a week, so tables can be put outside eateries to encourage people to sit outdoors.
Four Blue Badge spaces on Belmont Street were relocated, three which were moved to new bays 590ft away on Schoolhill and another which was moved 285ft to a new bay on Back Wynd.
But the Disability Advisory Group (DAG) has said they were not consulted over the plans.
Vice chairwoman of DAG, Wendy Stuart, said it was “shocking and unforgivable” that the needs of the disabled were not considered.
She added: “The council has known about these plans for over a year and they failed to consult with us.
“Had this gone to DAG there would have been such an uproar it would never have got through.
“It’s inappropriate as people with a blue badge can only walk a certain amount of metres. Someone who is partially sighted or blind would also have to watch out for waitresses coming out with hot cups of coffee.”
The idea to introduce a ‘café culture’ was put forward by Aberdeen Inspired after it learned about business owners’ desire to create such a space.
Communities, housing and infrastructure convener Councillor Neil Cooney said an informal briefing and question-and-answer session was held yesterday.
This brought together people from the community with disabilities, Aberdeen Inspire representatives, Aberdeen City Council representatives and Belmont Street businesses.
He said: “The meeting considered how people from the community with disabilities can contribute to discussions and help shape future plans for the city centre, and is a positive move forward.”