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New parking for people with dementia in Bracknell Forest

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A new scheme to help people with dementia remain independent for longer will launch in Bracknell town centre this month.

In partnership with the Bracknell Forest Dementia Action Alliance, Bracknell Forest Council is planning to trial two Dementia Friendly parking spaces in the High Street Multi-Storey Car Park in Bracknell town centre.

The clearly signposted, wider-than-conventional spaces will be just one of three schemes in operation across the country. They will be located in a CCTV-monitored zone on Level 4 of the car park, close to the ticket payment machines and pedestrian exits.

Councillor Marc Brunel-Walker, Bracknell Forest executive member for economic development and regeneration, said:

“The High Street multi-storey car park has undergone major investment this year including the installation of new LED lighting, an enhanced CCTV system, 24/7 security coverage and a bright new colour scheme for easier co-ordination around the floors of the car park.

“In addition to all of these improvements, and by working with the Dementia Action Alliance Group and our parking operators Indigo, we are delighted to be able to support the Dementia Friendly parking bay scheme. By introducing these spaces on a trial basis, we can get feedback and learn how well this approach works and other options there are to help town centre visitors with dementia and their carers.

“The spaces will be close to the covered link bridge, providing easy and direct access to the Princess Square Shopping Centre and the town centre itself. We hope this initiative will make a positive difference to our residents and visitors to Bracknell town centre.”

The need for the spaces was identified through discussions with people with dementia and their carers living in Bracknell Forest, who reported that they found it difficult to access the town centre as there was a lack of convenient places to park close to the amenities.

People with dementia also felt that having car parking, waiting and drop off areas close to the town centre was a priority. The spaces will work on an honesty scheme, similar to mother and baby spaces.

Members of the Dementia Action Alliance steering group with a diagnosis of dementia and their carers have consulted on the design of the signage to be used for the spaces. This will ensure that it is fit for purpose.

Viki Rowland, Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Action Alliance Co-Ordinator for Bracknell Forest, said: “People with dementia can feel isolated and lonely, by making this change to parking in Bracknell Forest, we hope that more people will feel empowered to visit the shops and feel more part of the community.”

To find out more about Bracknell Forest Dementia Action Alliance, visit www.dementiaaction.org.uk

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