Green transport: disabled people refuse to be pitted vs cyclists

Cartoon of solar-powered scooter — thanks to Stephen Lee Hodgkins

Our letter in the Camden New Journal:

24 September, 2020

• DISABLED people refuse to be pitted against cyclists, e-scooter riders and others changing to transport that doesn’t pollute the air we all breathe – pollution which is killing so many people.

Camden Council and Transport for London should not be installing cycle lanes without considering their impact on disabled people, who face barriers getting around. Wiping out pavement ramps and disability parking is against equality law.

Pavements need to be fully accessible at all times, otherwise people using wheelchairs and mobility scooters are forced into the narrow cycle lanes with batons, which is dangerous and problematic.

Binmen and women should be allowed time to put back recycling bins so they aren’t left out blocking the pavement; this inaccessibility is created by companies maximising their profits and by a cheaper contract for the council. “Eat out” café tables should not take the whole pavement.

To install a cycle lane in Fleet Road, disabled bays were suspended for nearly a month. No alternative parking or protection from penalties was offered to disabled residents who need to park yards from our front door. Other residents resent disabled neighbours taking their bays which they have paid an expensive permit for.

A sign suspending disabled parking for roadworks

Now the works are supposedly complete but no ramped kerbs either side on Cressy Road. Where are wheelchair users supposed to cross?

Cressy Road with no ramped kerbs and blister paving with a step down

Will visually impaired people who use the pavement pimples to find the kerb, know there is a step down? We didn’t get any answer from the council roadworks team.

After lockdown, diesel and petrol vehicles are back with a vengeance. Bad bus design means that two wheelchair users can’t travel together on the same bus, and we’re made to compete for space with mums with buggies.

Coping with disability and caring for children are both hard work, made harder by lack of access and poverty inflicted on family carers and disabled people.

It’s more obvious than ever that free, fully accessible, clean, public transport is urgently needed for the climate, pollution and poverty emergencies.

Contact us if you want to take on the council about the inaccessibility they are creating. Tel: 020 7482 2496 or email win@winvisible.org.

CLAIRE GLASMAN
CHERYL McLENNAN
WinVisible – Women with Visible & Invisible Disabilities

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