Saturday, January 19, 2019
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Skye and Lochalsh Access Panel welcomes plans to make Kyle branch of the Bank of Scotland more accessible to people with disabilities

Skye and Lochalsh Access Panel recently received a number of complaints from people with disabilities within the community regarding the announced closures of the Lochcarron and Broadford branches of the Bank of Scotland.

Of particular concern was that whilst the branches to be closed are accessible to all, local customers will now have to use the Kyle branch which in its present state is not. The entrance to the Kyle branch is about a metre above the road level, and bank customers have to climb a number of steps to get into the bank. This makes it inaccessible to wheelchair users, parents with prams and any person with any disability/mobility problems.

The Access Panel expressed its concern to Councillor Hamish Fraser and the local Community Council about this, and requested a meeting with Bank of Scotland officials about access issues. Initially the Bank did not seem to be unduly concerned about this lack of access to the Kyle branch.
 
Before any meeting between the Access panel and the Bank ever took place, but arising largely from the intervention of the Access Panel about the lack of access to the Kyle branch, the Bank of Scotland submitted a planning application to improve accessibility at the Kyle branch. It is proposing to put in an external, platform lift to assist people with disability/mobility problems. Highland ePlanning has asked the Access Panel to consult on this planning application.

At a subsequent meeting with Bank officials last week, the Access Panel expressed an interest in working with the architect and agent on this application to try to ensure that the planned modifications meet the needs of the maximum possible users. The

Bank officials seemed to welcome this offer of help from the Access Panel’s Access Auditors, as they are recognised as having considerable skill and experience in finding the best solutions to access problems. The Access Panel is looking forward to meeting the Bank’s architect and agent to discuss this further. It is hoped that outcomes from the meeting will be included in the Access Panel’s consultation response to Highland ePlanning but the timing of the meeting may not allow this.

For details about Skye and Lochalsh Access Panel, or if you are aware of any access issues for people with disabilities in the area, or would like to join the work of the Access Panel, you can contact them as follows:

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Telephone (Secretary): (01471) 822902
Secretary’s address:
Strathisla, Bayview Crescent, Broadford, Isle of Skye IV49 9BD.

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