Plant pot “minefield” causing huge problems for Sheffield wheelchair users
The City Council’s colourful additions to Fargate have created major accessibility issues for Sheffield’s wheelchair communities.
Heather Chapman, 55, is the Founder of WheelyHealthy Nutrition and drives a mobility scooter due to a neurological disorder.
Surrounded by the pots, she said: “At the moment I’m trapped here, and I feel like going into the council offices and asking if they can help me get off this pavement.
“They’ve blocked the dropped curb with fencing, and the plant pots, which we can’t see over, are like a minefield to get through. It’s ridiculous.
“The street furniture is already bad enough, so this is making it worse.”
Sheffield City Council’s Facebook page says the 23 pots, which were dropped off on 20 July, are ‘full and giving us a taste of summer into autumn.’
Becky Marson, a wheelchair user with cerebral palsy, said: “I wish they would place the pots with adequate spaces to pass.
“I was travelling towards Surrey Street from Leopold Street and had to turn back and go on the road to get past the plant pots.
“I have warned others that have visual or physical impairments.”
The planters have been topped up with gardening soil and filled with flowers in a joint celebration of the city’s new Sheffield Connect bus.
The city centre is currently going through a substantial makeover, with the plant pots being overlooked by the new Fargate shipping containers which are set to open on October 17.
They will feature bratwurst, baos, burritos and more as well as Sheffield ales and local artwork.
This means that this year’s Christmas market, which usually lights up Fargate with its Alpine Bar and Big Wheel, will instead be located on The Moor.
Sheffield City Council have been approached for comment on the accessibility issues caused by these new additions.