I covered a story that first saw the light of day in the Liverpool Echo recently about the problems that parking vehicles on pavements causes for those with disabilities etc. The matter was also covered in the Aintree & Maghull Champion. Here’s a link my blog on the matter:-
Since all this publicity and the fact that the person who originally raised the issue was said to live in Lydiate folks have seemingly jumped to the wrong conclusion i.e. they have assumed it was raised by former Lydiate Parish Councillor Tony Fenton who’s a well know local wheelchair user – IT WAS NOT. And before anyone asks who then?, I have absolutely no idea.
As I have been looking at the layout of the new Maghull North Station two things in particular jump out at me which don’t seem at all right.
Firstly, the vast majority of those approaching the station by foot, on a cycle, pushing a pram, using a disability buggy etc. will do so coming from the direction of Maghull Square yet the access to the new station from this direction is at present via a short flight of steps:-
There’s no alternative to these steps, there’s no dropped kerb and hard standing to School Lane so how are people with disabilities and those arriving on a bike supposed to access the station? The alternative presently is a very long detour along School Lane and then back again via the new Poppy Fields housing estate road.
Could it be that a level/accessible access is still to be provided? I’m wondering if this may be the case because of uncompleted works some 20 or 30 yards away from the steps? See what I mean?:-
Secondly, the bus stops for the new station, on School Lane, are not exactly close to it:-
In the summer maybe the walk to the bus stops is a pleasant one but in winter? Why has it not been possible to create an bus/rail interchange like you see at many stations where both are located right next to each other? This whole area has been designed from scratch so I’m scratching my head about this, I really am.
The new station is great (I use it, indeed I campaigned for it to be built over many, many years) but clearly there are teething troubles which need addressing.
With thanks to the Aintree & Maghull Champion newspaper for making this their lead story in their edition of 1st August 2018
The BBC has this so sad and frustrating story on its web site – see link above
Stories like this make my blood boil; you just can’t understand how the shop assistant in Halfords came to do such a terrible thing. I feel for Halfords in some ways because this is a huge embarrassment for the company and you can’t in any way think that they would have wanted their assistant to act in the way they did.
I spent many years working with people who had a disability at the Maghull Homes/Parkhaven Trust in the 1980’s and early 1990’s and frankly I’m grateful for what I learned over that period. I met some lovely people, some who were unfortunately institutionalised, but they were people with disabilities and they became friends of mine.
All I can say to Halfords or indeed any other employer who has staff that interact with the public is train them not to fear or reject disabilities. Their job is to help people and that’s what we who are fortunate enough to be able-bodied customers expect to see being done. When we don’t see help being offered we take our business elsewhere!
Mind the gap – It is often the height difference between a train door and station platform which causes difficulties for those with a disability.
The Liverpool Echo has the story on it s web site – see link above
How long has the Disabled Discrimination Act (DDA) been in place? Well it came into effect in 2005 and was then added to/superseded by the Equities Act of 2010 yet still people with disabilities are left at a disadvantage.
Frankly it is not good enough in my book.
The photo is amongst my flickr shots at:-
Footpath off Bridges Lane in Sefton Village
The link above takes you to the web site of Merseytravel and the consultation documents they would like responses to – please have a look if you like cycling or walking locally off road.
Gate and stile from Butchers Lane in Aughton to Millbank in Maghull.
I sit of the Sefton Rights of Way Group representing Lydiate and Maghull Councils so this is matter of interest to me, I am also a regular walker and cyclist.
My view is that what we need to get across to policy makers throughout the Liverpool City Region is that the development of pedestrian pathways are vital to the health and wellbeing of our communities. In short we need the following:-
* More hard surfaced paths which enable their use by cycles and those with disabilities
* Clearly way marked circular routes suitable for push chairs and wheelchairs
* Cycle routes that connect communities
* A clear programme to deliver such improvements over the life of the next ROWIP within obviously tight resources.
Please join in and let the powers that be know what you think as they work on the Next Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) for Merseyside.
The Guardian has the story and video on its web site – see link above
I know nothing of Cathy but I do know that we need to do very much more to ensure that with people with disabilities can play as full a part in our society as they wish to.
People with disabilities are close to my heart and I am sorry to say that the way we treat those less fortunate than ourselves does no credit to our society at all. This is supposed to be 2017 when we are not ashamed of disability and when we should know far better than to seemingly treat people with disabilities as little more than second class citizens.
I spent many years working with people with both mental and physical disabilities and it certainly enriched my life but I still feel ashamed about the way we treat disability issues. The Tory attitude seems to be one of how much does it cost to support people with disabilities and can we save a few bob on that bill. Frankly, that attitude is Victorian and appalling.
I was taught to play snooker by people with disabilities, I played cricket with the same people and enjoyed every minute of it. I listened to stories of disability and how it ended up with people being institutionalised as a consequence. But I made friends with real people whom society had shunned and I valued those friendships immensely. That generation I knew has all but gone now and we have made big strides to treat people with disabilities well but there is still much more to do.
The way we treat those who have little, who are less fortunate and who live with disability every day of their lives is an indication of how well our society is doing and you probably know as well as I do that our fractured society is not at all well at present.
Oh for a person with a disability to be Prime Minister one day, we will then know we are getting things right and our society is no longer one to be somewhat ashamed of.
With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting.