THANKS to an article on the front page of the Western Advocate on March 10, Missing Footpath Hinders Access To New Rail Museum, that footpath was very quickly installed a few weeks later.
It provided access and connectivity to the existing sealed footpath system, allowing a person with a mobility aid to traverse a great deal of the CBD and enter the museum safely. At the time, I stated it should have been available from day one.
I also was very vocal at the time, although it was not relayed in the media, that while it was deemed necessary to provide a very large stairway from the museum down to the path leading to the off-street parking area for the rail station, there was no way a person with either a pram or mobility aid could access this parking without having to travel a very long distance around to the front of this parking.
OTHER RECENT LETTERS:
The path leading to this off-street parking, an area a majority of the museum visitors appear to utilise, consisted of deep, loose gravel.
However, some fantastic news. A new sealed footpath leading directly from the Rail Museum to this off-street parking is currently being constructed.
Annoyingly, it still remains that this accessible footpath for those with disability is eight months too late.
This should never happen. It treats those with disability as second-class citizens - forced to wait for facilities already provided to those without disability. Not to mention the number of parents with prams, etc, I have seen attempting to negotiate the path from the off-street parking to the museum.
I was never critical of the access inside of the museum. In fact, I stated at the time I understood that there was good access inside.
I understand there are accessible parking positions in the front of the museum and that is great, but the off-street parking is much easier to access.
So a belated thank you to Bathurst Regional Council, but councillors need to review all public buildings in future, both new and old, and have accessibility for all foremost in your determinations and budgetary processes.
Councillors need to provide council staff with an appropriate budget for those staff to achieve a high level of accessibility to all council buildings, thereby setting the example for other developers to follow.
The rail museum is finally a fully accessible venue for the $8 billion-plus accessible tourism market.
Now for proper accessible toilets in the library, National Motor Racing Museum, senior citizens building and equitable access into the retailers in council's own old Tourist Hotel building in William Street.