Shock and dismay as Cornwall church ramp could be axed

The makeshift ramp at St Bartholomew's Church in Lostwithiel has been in situ for 30 years
-Credit: (Image: google StreetView)


Parishioners at a church in South East Cornwall have labelled Cornwall Council 'silly' for asking a makeshift disabled access ramp to be removed because it could cause an obstruction. As reported by the BBC, Cornwall Highways has written to St Bartholomew's Church in Lostwithiel, asking them to remove the wooden sleeper used as a ramp off the kerb after it was "considered to be a significant obstruction to highway users".

Reverend Sheila Bawden said the ramp has been in place for three decades and is used by people in wheelchairs, people with walkers and undertakers carrying coffins on a trolley. Cornwall Council said it looks at all issues when raised but added it would not remove the ramp straight away.

Rev Bawden said removing the makeshift ramp would prevent many churchgoers from attending services which would lead to their exclusion from the congregation. She told the BBC: "If we remove it all these people cannot access the church. It's the other side of double yellow lines so nobody should be parking here."

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Churchgoer Simon Brewer, the captain of the bell ringers at St Bart's attends the church with his mobility scooter. He said: "I think it's too silly for words. I've never heard anything so ridiculous in my life."

Cornwall Council said it is its responsibility to ensure road safety on the network of B roads in its care and identify and remove potential hazards.

A spokesperson for the local authority said: "We will look at the options for how we can support the church to improve access. In the meantime, while we will not be taking any immediate action on this matter, we have reminded the church of their liabilities should any accidents occur relating to the temporary ramp."