New barriers on the Downs Link at Southwater - Equality Impact Assessment and EA2010 Obligations

The request was successful.

Dear West Sussex County Council,

I write to you in relation to the recently installed barriers along the Downs Link in Southwater with specific reference to 51.026404, -0.355838, at the junction of the Downs Link with Eames View.

You may also find reference to this specific installation in this Twitter post - https://twitter.com/LukeB_MTB/status/127...

I write to ask the following questions.

1) When was this barrier installed?
2) Was an Equality Impact Assessment carried out at this location, as required by the Equality Act 2010 S.149, prior to the installation of this barrier;
3) Could you please provide a copy of that Equality Impact Assessment;
4) Who installed this barrier?
5) Who approved this barrier?

I note that this route forms part of the signposted and mapped cycle network in West Sussex.

6) Who does this cycle route fall under the remit of?
7a) Were they consulted prior to installation?
7b) If so, what was their response?
7b.i) If they did not approve, why was this ignored/overruled/disregarded, and by whom?
7b.ii) If they did approve, please provide evidence to support this.

As this forms part of the signposted and advertised local cycle network, it is not unreasonable to expect cyclists, including disabled and adaptive cyclists, to wish to pass along here, as they are legally entitled to do.
It is also reasonable to assume that many cyclists passing through here may not be familiar with the immediate local area, and may struggle to find an alternative route;
It is further reasonable to assume that this route will see a higher proportion of less experienced and less-able cyclists, who are less likely to be able to achieve or maintain higher paces, and, accordingly, should not be forced onto main roads and away from quieter routes like this.

I remind you that dismounting is not an option for the majority of users of adaptive cycles, such as handcycles, trikes and so on, and requiring a dismount for users of such 'cycles is a contravention of EA2010 S.20(3)(4), and constitutes an act of direct discrimination under Equality Act 2010, Section 21.

9) What provision has been made for the passage of cyclists along this signposted cycle route, with regards to this barrier?
10) What allowances and accommodations have been made for disabled cyclists?
11) Leading on from 10), what provision has been made for cargobikes, tricyclists, and adaptive cycles in general?
12) How would a cargobike pass through here? (Assume length of 2.15, width 89cm)
13) How would a recumbent handcycle pass through here? (Assume 2.2m length, 5.5m turning radius - not an extreme example, fairly typical).
14) How would an upright handcycle pass through here? (Assume 1.8m length, 5.5m turning radius - again, not extreme, fairly typical)
15) How would a wheelchair with a clip-on handcycle pass through here? (assume length of 1.6m, width of 72cm at the bottom, 74cm at the cranks - Again, not extreme, fairly typical)

The UK Government has recently embarked on a programme of encouraging the construction, provision and improvement of cycling infrastructure.

16) Please explain how the installation of this barrier, and the subsequent de facto banning of disabled cyclists from this route, aligns with this programme.

The Equality Act 2010, Section 20 (https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/201...) contains a number of stipulations with regards to provisions, practices, criterion and physical features. These are legal obligations, and as such, are not optional. The Equality Act 2010, Section 20 is henceforth referred to as and by "S.20".

17) Please clarify how the installation of these barriers aligns with S.20(3);
18) Please clarify how the installation of these barriers aligns with S.20(4);
19) Please clarify how the installation of these barriers aligns with S.20(7);
20) Please clarify how the installation of these barriers aligns with S.20(9);
21) Please clarify how the installation of these barriers aligns with S.20(10);

I again remind you that expecting disabled cyclists to dismount is a violation of S.20(3). I also remind you that expecting disabled cyclists to go a long way out of their way to avoid this barrier is a violation of S.20(3),(4).

Finally, I expect immediate and urgent action to be taken in order to bring this barrier into compliance with the above legislation;

22) Please explain what immediate steps will be taken to restore inclusive and disabled accessibility for the above route.
23) Please provide the correct contact point for any further actions, including for any potential Letter(s) Before Action(s) to be addressed to.

Please provide the requested information in either table, or bullet pointed format, addressing each question raised fully in turn.
Please do not use "Refer to previous answer N", as none of my questions are likely to be satisfactorily answered by a prior question, and this will only result in additional FOI requests.

If it is not possible to provide the information requested due to the information exceeding the cost of compliance limits identified in Section 12, please provide advice and assistance, under the Section 16 obligations of the Act, as to how I can refine my request.

If you can identify any ways that my request could be refined, I would be grateful for any further advice and assistance.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to your response.

Yours faithfully,

Mark Treasure

westsussex@infreemation.co.uk, West Sussex County Council

Dear Mark Treasure

Thank you for your request which has been assigned reference FOI/1098

Freedom of Information request - New barriers on the Downs Link at
Southwater - Equality Impact Assessment and EA2010 Obligations

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West Sussex County Council

 

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westsussex@infreemation.co.uk, West Sussex County Council

Dear Mark Treasure,

Our Ref: FOI/1098

 

On 03/07/2020 you made the following request for information, which has
been dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000

 

Request for Equalities Impact report on new barriers installed on the
Downs Link

 

We have now completed a search for the information which you requested and
confirm that this Authority holds data relevant to your request.
 

The Response to your request is as follows:

Thank you for raising this matter with us.

The barrier was installed in May/June 2019 and following an
investigation looking into the issues you raised has been found to have
been installed in the wrong location by the developer. The Principal
Public Rights of Way Officer who was responsible for liaising with the
developer on this scheme has left the organisation so I will instruct the
developer to remove the barrier. Two sets of staggered barriers were due
to be erected on either side of the new spine road. However we will now
work with the developer to review their suitability at this location
through a safety audit of the crossing and ensure there is an appropriate
consultation and Equality Impact Assessment before installing, if needed,
any physical barrier. 

In view of the fact that the installation was faulty and will be
corrected, I have not answered all your questions in full. I hope this is
satisfactory, but should you have any outstanding queries please do let us
know by responding directly to this email without changing the subject
header.

 

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Yours sincerely,

Annemarie, CI Group FOI, Highways and Transport

 

 

 

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Dear [email address],

In the response I received above, dated 27 July 2020, it was stated that

"I will instruct the developer to remove the barrier."

The barriers are still in place, 6 months later. Has that instruction been issued?

Yours sincerely,

Mark Treasure