Without even the courtesy of putting such an important issue out to consultation Redbridge Council has decided to scrap its door-to-door minibus service for disabled people. In its place the council is going to introduce a ‘pilot scheme’ which will force disabled children who depend on door-to-door transport to and from school to instead go to a muster point on a main road to wait for the transport.
|Parents of disabled children who are to lose their door-to-door school run transport|
This is an outrageous decision by Redbridge Council. Expecting disabled children and their parents to travel to muster points to be picked up is a retrogressive measure.
Disabled people and their parents, carers and support workers face great difficulties on a daily basis. Adding to these difficulties by taking away the door-to-door service is to ignore the real needs of this group.
Struggling to get to muster points will add difficulty and danger to people’s lives. How will people get to the points? While public transport is accessible, try accessing it during rush hour with a teenager in a specialized wheelchair. If driving, there is the problem of parking. Blue Badge parking bays are not always available, especially where muster points are likely to be, on main roads. Then there’s the issue of inclement weather.
Door-to-door transport for disabled people is not a luxury. No, it is a necessity that enables disabled people to move forward rather than to continuously find themselves being pushed further and further back.