MORE concerns are being raised about the proposed relocation of the town’s tourist information centre.
The leader of a Kirklees blind support group says members are already worried using the steep steps up to the library.
And Jean Goodison, of Newsome, is worried that plans to relocate the tourist information centre into the library will mean more services are out of reach for blind people.
Mrs Goodison , who is the chairman of the Better Future for the Blind, said: “I am concerned about our members being able to use the centre.
“Those steps are very steep and are not suitable at all.
“I think access is the biggest concern here and it has been overlooked.
“I know there is access at the side of the building but blind people would not know where to go to find that entrance.
“Also, the kiosk they are planning for inside is in a place that is difficult to reach for a blind person.”
“By changing the venue to the library it is putting disabled people, and especially blind people, at risk.
“Moving more services in to the library means there are less services they can easily access – has a risk assessment been done?”
The tourist centre will close in September saving £58,000 over two years, with Huddersfield Library taking over information services and souvenir sales and ticket sales moving to the town hall and the Lawrence Batley Theatre.
Mrs Goodison added: “I’m not blind myself and I know there are yellow lines on the steps, but the fact is there is a risk for blind people using those steps which is the main access.”
The Better Future for the Blind service supports the 2,000 registered blind people in South Kirklees.
Mrs Goodison is now asking people to call on Kirklees Council to reconsider the move or at the least carry out a risk assessment.
While mother-of-two Lynda Blacker says the council should go back to the drawing board for the Queensgate regeneration, saying: “The library is a magnificent building.
“The plans for the Queensgate area are in disarray so why not create a separate tourist centre next to our beautiful town hall and the library?”
A council spokeswoman said: “Visually impaired people do not have to use the steps as there is already level access to the side of the building and an internal lift to access other floors.
“Many visually impaired people already visit the library to use the Brailling Service and to attend the Visually Impaired Readers’ group.
“There are no plans to change the access at present and any such work would be difficult to undertake as the library is a listed building.”