A wheelchair user from Burngreave says he cannot access his local park due to barriers at the entrances and a lack of information.
Stuart Ritchie, who lives “a ten-minute trundle” from Concord Park, said there is no way he can get in with his wheelchair or scooter.
He said: “If you walk around Concord Park, you’d be left with the firm impression that disabled people don’t live in Sheffield.
“There is absolutely zero chance of getting a wheelchair or mobility scooter into the park,” he added.
Mr Ritchie said barrier gates at the various entrances allow space for cyclists and pedestrians to pass through, but not wheelchair, mobility scooters or prams.
The barriers are in place to prevent motorbikes entering the park, the Friends of Concord Park and Woolley Wood said.
The only way for Stuart to access the park is on the rare occasion when the main gates are open – however, there is no information on when this will be, leaving Stuart worried that he will end up locked into the park.
“Even if there was just a handwritten sign tied to the gate, at least then I know if it’s a nice day, I feel up to it, then we can risk going up to Concord Park,” he said.
Mr Ritchie has contacted Sheffield Council several times about a lack of access to the park for disabled people, but has received no reply.
And he said as a sufferer of chronic fatigue, he is unable to stay on the phone to the council for hours to receive a response.
“If I want to go somewhere nice, we’ve got to get in the car and drive to Ecclesfield Park – there’s open entrances, fully accessible tarmac paths and easy, thoughtful access to the heritage centre.
“At Concord Park, people in wheelchairs are made to feel more disabled than enabled,” he said.
This lack of access is particularly difficult for Mr Ritchie, who has terminal cancer.
Referring to the lack of access, he said: “It’s taken away the last bit of pleasure I used to get from going up there.”
The possible access point for wheelchair users to Concord Park. Photo: Friends of Concord Park and Woolley Wood.
The Friends of Concord Park and Woolley Wood said there is some access for wheelchair users through barrier gates. However, Mr Ritchie says he is unable to get his mobility scooter through this.
He said: “It’s important to note that neither wheelchairs or mobility scooters come in a standard size. As a larger chap I have to use larger, sturdier equipment.”
Sheffield Council has been contacted for a comment.
Photo: On the right, Stuart Ritchie. On the left, the main gates to Concord Park.