At a recent Plenary meeting of the Orihuela Council a motion was approved that will now require the proprietors of all restaurants, cafe’s and bars, with terraces that extend onto public roads, to install ramps between the road and pavement to ensure the accessibility of people with reduced mobility.
The modification of the Municipal Ordinance Regulating Temporary Activities on public roads will now force all bars and catering establishments, as long as they wish to retain to retain their terrace.
This is a measure that groups and associations representing people with disabilities, such as Orihuela Sin Barreras, have been requesting for many years.
The councillor of Urbanism, Rafael Almagro, has said that those catering establishments that already have permission to occupy the public roads now have a period of 18 months to install these ramps, to make them accessible and to comply with the laws and regulations of accessibility. Failure to do so could lead to the withdrawal of the permit to occupy the street.
Those businesses applying for future permissions to install a terrace will have to comply with the ordinance prior to obtaining a permit.
The one political group abstaining from the vote was Cambiemos Orihuela, which said that the amendment “was not very ambitious” since, in the opinion of its spokesperson, Karlos Bernabé, “the changes in the ordinance do not go far enough”.
Cambiemos also asked that the City Council give financial aid to establishments that have to install these ramps to alleviate the economic outlay they will have to make. This amendment was not accepted by the government, so the expenses of the works will have to be borne by the owners of the catering establishments concerned.