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Thursday, September 2, 2010

FROM THE UK................

Circus visit leaves city woman in pain
By eleanor radford, herald reporter
A PLYMOUTH woman was left in pain after a visit to see the Moscow State Circus because of difficulties accessing the site.
Stuart Munnery took his 75- year-old mother to see the show in Central Park but after having to walk more than 400m with a chronic bad back she was left in pain.
He said he asked about disabled access to be told there was none.
Mr Munnery said: "I had a lovely time at the Moscow State Circus and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone, unless you're disabled that is.
"I lay no blame at all on the circus, but would like to know what the council have to say about this as I understand it is a legal requirement for them to supply as such and even if it were not, it is certainly a moral one."
He added that he believed an access road leading right up to the site could have allowed disabled badge holders to drop off there.
"It was a great show and worth every penny, but a disgraceful oversight by the council," he said.
A spokesperson for Plymouth City Council said that the show was originally intended to be staged on Loves Field (near the Goals football pitches).
But when work started on the Plymouth Life Centre this proved to be unsuitable due to problems with flooding.
She said: "We have been in regular contact with the Moscow State Circus and they were happy to be located on Stadium Field.
"Stadium Field was the best alternative site within the park as it is large and flat, with well-draining ground and far less chance of flooding or ground damage in wet weather."
"One of the disadvantages of the site is that there is limited parking space nearby but this would have been the case in most other parts of the park."
The 'access road' Mr Munnery refers to is actually a pedestrian footpath, she said, and not a public highway.
She said: "It would not be safe, or indeed legal, to allow vehicles to park on this pathway and drivers would not be insured in the event of an accident.
"We would like to apologise to anyone who has found it difficult to get to the circus and will continue to investigate potential alternative sites for future events," she said.

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