A WHEELCHAIR user has succeeded in getting the promise of dropped kerbs after highlighting the issues of getting from his home in Embsay to Skipton under his own steam.

Steve Dobson, who has a damaged spine and primary progressive multiple sclerosis, uses a light-weight manual wheelchair, that dismantles and fits on the passenger seat of his car. He also likes to keep as fit as possible, and do his bit for the environment, by using his car less.

But he found it was impossible to get from Embsay to Skipton in his wheelchair because of the state of the footpaths and a lack of dropped kerbs.

After getting into contact with Skipton MP Julian Smith, a tour of Skipton with two North Yorkshire highways officers was carried out at the end of last year.

Mr Dobson said: "I may be disabled but I still want the option to do my bit for the environment and my pocket. My main two issues are with the footpath and drop kerbs from Skipton Road in Embsay to Skipton Castle. If you are outside of the castle you cannot cross the road in a wheelchair as there is no destination drop kerb to use."

He says the town also has uneven pavements, poor access to some shops and businesses and a lack of free disabled parking.

"Independent wheelchair users need to assemble and dissemble their wheelchairs from the driver's seat. When parked, the vehicle door needs to be fully open to allow this.

"Parking at the roadside and obstructing a busy or narrow footpath is not a solution as the door cannot be opened fully. The only alternative is the fee paying car parks, the council does give you the second hour free, but this is no help at all when just nipping to the post office or shops."

James Malcolm, highways area manager for the county council said a number of issues were raised at the meeting with Mr Dobson about travel between Embsay and Skipton town centre for wheelchair users.

He said: “The issues highlighted involve drop-kerbs at three locations, which need to be lowered further, and the mouth of an access road which needs to be resurfaced at one of those locations.

“As a result, officers agreed to request funding from the 2022/23 budget so remedial work can be carried out. A decision will be made in March on that bid and, if unsuccessful, the authority will seek funding from other sources to ensure changes can be made. We are grateful these matters have been brought to our attention.”