Image credit: Daniela Loffreda

A disability campaigner has called for increased accessibility in Nottingham city centre.

It comes as restaurants, bars and cafes have increased their outdoor seating to capitalise on rules around outside gatherings.

Charlotte Throssel, CEO of Disability Support, has asked hospitality businesses to be more considerate of wheelchair users and the visually impaired when outdoor planning.

The Nottingham-based team offers advice, information or support to disabled people in the city.

The 41-year-old said: “Pavements are only a certain width anyway and the more you add to that the harder it is for people in wheelchairs or with visual impairments to navigate.

“It’s a fine line because everyone wants to go out and get back to as much of a normal life as they can but if it’s reducing accessibility for a minority group it’s not right.

“Obviously their first priority is to get back on their feet and get an income but they need to be mindful of everyone else who is trying to use that space.”

Streets in the Hockley area of Nottingham are cramped by outdoor seating. Image credit: Daniela Loffreda

Venues serving food and drink have been able to open outside since May 17.

Currently up to 30 people are allowed to meet outdoors in comparison to six inside.

Charlotte, who is a wheelchair user, believes that improved accessibility is beneficial to both customers and businesses.

She said: “If places are not accessible or are not taking accessibility seriously then anybody with a disability isn’t going to spend their money there.

“I don’t think they realise the spending power of disabled people is on a level with non-disabled people so there’s a huge revenue stream that they’re not tapping into.

“Businesses should make sure that there is a clear visual line on pavements that customers should not go over so there’s space for someone with a wheelchair or visual impairment can get through safely.”

She advised that shops which are accessible should advertise it in windows to attract more disabled customers.

Hospitality must receive permission from Nottingham City Council to extend their outdoor seating arguments.

Speaking on the council’s approach to the issue, Charlotte said: “They could work more closely alongside restaurant owners and ensure everything is accessible and that these set ups aren’t in the way of other people.”

Nottingham City Council was approached for a response but refused to comment.