Tag: disability

No lifts in Ludlow station upgrade. No fully accessible taxi in town. We should stop treating the disabled as second class

Major works are underway at Ludlow station. The scheme is to put a temporary footbridge in place while the old footbridge is repaired along with the steps leading up to it. There are no plans to install lifts for those who are disabled or have limited mobility. A couple of weeks before, Shropshire Council refused a licence for the only fully disabled access taxi in Ludlow because it did not meet the Euro 5 standard. You can’t get into a Ludlow Town Council meeting if you have severe mobility problems. In Shropshire, the disabled remain second-class citizens. We must change this.

Shropshire Council went ahead and cancelled the rural Link service today. The buses are still running, but only for schools. Disabled and elderly people will need to use dial-a-ride community transport, which will run shorter distances, less frequently.  Hereabouts, that’s the Ludlow Traveller service. There was never any need to scrap Link. It was costly but it did not need to be so. Bizarrely buses were based in Shrewsbury, even if they only ever ran 30 miles away in the south of the county. Passenger numbers grew substantially from Link’s launch in December 2008 to a peak of around 3,000 passengers a month in mid-2012.  From end of 2012, they have declined, though now seem to seem to be fairly static at around 2,500 a month. This compares to an average of 1,005 passengers a month on the previous fixed rural services. Nearly 3,000 school students use the service each…

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I caught the 11.30 Ludlow town bus from Tollgate Road to the town centre this morning. For the first part of the journey, the passengers were discussing the appalling state of the town buses. One woman said: “You wouldn’t get a bus service like this in Shrewsbury.” She’s right. The bus is a museum piece with three steep steps to get on board. There is no buggy or disabled space. Any anyway, how could anyone with even moderate mobility problems get on board? I got off the bus at the Co-op and snapped the shot below. Look again at that photograph and imagine if the person trying to board the bus had been a wheelchair user. A few weeks back, a wheelchair user up here at Tollgate waited in the cold for a bus. The bus that arrived was a low floor bus. But it could not lower its floor…

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