More than half of Streatham High Road’s shops do not have disabled access, according to survey
More than half of Streatham High Road’s shops do not have disabled access, according to a Green Party survey.
The survey, conducted in June, found that 57 of the 87 shops were inaccessible and only had step access.
It also said where there were ramps, they were often in a state of disrepair.
The survey also suggested the problem was not just down to independent businesses, but also larger retail businesses.
It is projected that about 8 per cent of Streatham High Road users have a mobility impairment, but this did not include groups such as the elderly and parents withprams.
Jonathan Bartley, Green Party member for Lambeth, said the survey was carried out to show where money could be invested to improve the High Road.
Streatham has successfully bid to receive money from the Mayor’s Outer London Fund, a project that is dedicated to improving the vibrancy and growth of high streets, and Mr Bartley believed that some of this money could be used to improve disabled access.
He said: “One of the things we are doing in the Streatham Green Party is trying to make the area more accessible.
“We realised money from the Outer London Fund was coming in so we wanted to assess the situation on the High Road.
“We found two-thirds of shops only had step access with no ramps and no notifications the shop will help people.”
Mr Bartley added shops were losing business because they were not accessible to those with mobility problems.
Lee Alley, chairman of the Streatham Business Forum, said businesses should make sure they had structures in place, even if it is a temporary ramp, to accommodate all customers.
He said: “For my business, I looked at it as vital to incorporate accessibility early on I built it in from the foundations.
“But others don’t take the time to do it as it can be a hassle. This sends out the message to 8 per cent of the market that we are not interested in your business, go somewhere else.
“It is important the word gets out that from High Road shops that they want to accommodate those with disabilities as word travels fast.”
Councillor Peck, the council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “Unfortunately we can’t make businesses comply with disability access laws, but we do have some power around the Outer London Fund we will use it to make sure that those properties given money are already compliant.”