FAO Chris Young
Special Projects
Civic Centre
Much Park Street

16th April 2015

c/o Age UK Coventry
7 Warwick Row

Dear Chris,

I am writing to you on behalf of Coventry Older Voices (COV). The Group aims to improve the lives of older people in Coventry and address issues that impact on their everyday lives.

At our COV meeting this week on Tuesday 14 April there was considerable discussion relating to the start of the first phase of the Belgrade Plaza Junction Scheme.

Members expressed serious concern regarding the absence of information on the expected disruption to traffic routes in, out and cross City particularly using public transport. The Group also reported on friends and family who had also been unaware of the proposed road works. Attempts had been made to obtain information leaflets from the City Libraries and the Travel Centre in Pool Meadow without success.

One member had looked on the CCC website but again without any positive results I would say while drafting this letter I have found information but itemised under 'This weeks scheduled city road works'. This is hardly keeping people informed in advance.

Older people often have mobility problems and may be sensory impaired. They plan their routes taking a number of factors into consideration e.g. nearest bus stop, stops with shelters and bench seats, level pavements especially with walking aids, steps, ramps, safe crossing points, drop curbs and many more!!

What may seem a simple mapping exercise in the Planning Office does in reality become a major problem for older people in the community especially if they rely on public transport for getting into the City centre. The failure of the Council to provide adequate advance information is wholly unsatisfactory for everyone. It is however particularly stressful of older people and those with disabilities.

Coventry Older Voices request that this situation be urgently addressed. There needs to be public information made available through the press, the media, public notices and leaflets in easily accessible places in the City centre. Given that the work is scheduled to continue until November 2015 there needs to be regular updates on progress as the Project evolves.

In December 2014 a major project was launched to enable Coventry to become an Age Friendly City (AFC) according to criteria set by the World Health Organisation. The AFC initiative is sponsored by a tri-partite partnership between Coventry City Council, Age UK and Coventry University. There is also full committment from Coventry Older Voices to the project ensuring the voices of older people are respected and valued.

Even at this early stage in the development of Coventry as an AFC major themes of concern to older people have already been identified. One of which is transport. The present confusion over the Belgrade Plaza area is a clear example of the need to consider the repercussions for older people in delivering services. Many older people are not computer literate and information needs to be accessible in formats other that on a 'www...gov.uk' website!

We would appreciate a response as soon as possible to this letter with details olf any action being taken in relation to the request within it.


Anne Lakin