Disability is a big issue, especially if you are disabled yourself due to physical or mental limitations. Getting out the door, getting to your destination can be a challenge. Too often there are thoughtless hazards in the way. People who don’t allow you enough times and space to do what you need to do, especially if you have a hidden disability. Road signs blocking the pavement. Vehicles parked on the pavement in fear of slowing or causing inconvenience to motorists.

Over the next few weeks, we will be discussing getting around Ludlow, walking, cycling, by bus and by car.

First, we need to answer a basic question. How many of us are disabled in Ludlow? The answer is more than one in five (22%). This is higher than the England and Wales disability figure of 18% or that for Shropshire as a whole which is also 18%.

In Ludlow, more women report that they have disability than men (F: 23%; M: 20%) and do so throughout adult years.

There is much more to explore in the census data but the message is clear. One in five of us have physical or hidden disability issues. That’s around 2,300 people. Policies and day-to-day practice cannot act against the interests of one fifth of the town’s population.

If you want to keep up to date with disability issues in Ludlow, please join the new disability access group on Facebook.


In the 2021 census, disability was defined as: “People who assessed their day-to-day activities as limited by long-term physical or mental health conditions or illnesses are considered disabled. This definition of a disabled person meets the harmonised standard for measuring disability and is in line with the Equality Act (2010).”

To identify disability in England and Wales, the census asked people “Do you have any physical or mental health conditions or illnesses lasting or expected to last 12 months or more?”. If they answered yes, a further question “Do any of your conditions or illnesses reduce your ability to carry out day-to-day activities?” was asked.

Ludlow for the purposes of this article is MSOA Shropshire 38.

MSOA Shropshire 38 in pink
3 thought on “Census 2021: How many of us are disabled in Ludlow?”
  1. Much more interesting than how many of us have disabilities (the census seems to answer that question) is what can be done to help those of us who do. If people reading this article who either have some disability or help somebody who does could write in with concrete proposals of how their daily life in Ludlow could be improved by a simple change (eg a lowered kerb here or an automatically opening door there) it would genuinely make enlightening reading for those of us lucky enough not to have to think about such problems very often.

  2. As someone who uses a disability scooter to get around Ludlow the biggest problems are:
    1) Vehicles parked on pavements such that there is insufficient space to pass. The drivers obviously are thinking only of problems caused to other traffic if they park on the road and not pedestrians. Isn’t it an offence to park on the pavement?
    2) Signs for roadworks directed at drivers erected on the pavement. Frequently I have to move such signs to pass.
    3) Scaffolding erected without the minimum distance, 100cms?, between the uprights.
    4) Bins outside houses completely blocking the pavement – becoming worse as the number of bins increases.

    I have not encountered problems with pedestrians – nearly always they smile and talk and facilitate me. And the dogs are particularly friendly!!!!

  3. There are obvious improvements that can be made to the layout of roads, footpaths and cycle paths in a town and community that tends to instinctively think about the needs of cars and their users before the much more life changing needs of disabled folk living n, or visiting, our town. I will try to do better in future.

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