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Access City Award 2017 Winning City: Chester (UK)
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The Access City Award is the European prize for making cities more accessible to people with disabilities and older people. • • The winning city for 2017 was Chester, an historic city in the north-west of England famous for its Roman and Saxon City Walls. The City has employed a full time Access Officer since 1991. It won the award for how it has made the historic centre fully accessible, and for recognising and illustrating that it makes economic sense to invest in accessibility. All sections of the famous Rows, and most of the 3 kilometres of the walls, are accessible via a combination of ramps, level access routes, lifts and an escalator. New handrails & tactile paving are also used. Four special “Changing Places” facilities have been provided to enable people with disabilities to visit the city for longer periods. • • All of the city’s 192 taxis and 129 buses are wheelchair accessible. ‘Ability Angels’ provide shopping companions. The city seeks feedback on its accessibility issues from groups supporting people with intellectual disabilities. • • Traders and the local council report that improving accessibility has brought increased numbers of older visitors and visitors with disabilities to the city.