When people talk of access issues in the majority of people’s minds a person in a wheelchair springs to mind, probably stuck somewhere. It certainly was mine for many, many years. Then I became disabled, as a result I met more and more disabled people and I realised that just like all people we come in all different shapes and sizes and we all have very different disabilities, and very different problems in day to day living.
The town I live in has a beautiful Train Station, as a child growing up I regularly enjoyed using it, as a teen I was cool heading into the city, as a 30 something I am now stumped. My LG would love to catch the train to meet my wife for lunch (who works near the station) and I’m running out of excuses as to why we can’t do it. I have explained the truth to her but it doesn’t make sense in her mind.
The truth is the return journey to Platform 2 leaves me stranded on one side of the railway station where the only way off is 2 flights of stairs (a small issue in a wheelchair). It doesn’t compute to her because she cannot understand why there isn’t another route it is “silly daddy” yes, yes it is! It is also the bizarre truth. I have been contacted recently by the local press as they want to run a story on it and wondered whether the Access Group that I am chair of were aware of the issue. I explained we were, it was on our list of issues to work on and many residents have contacted the various MP’s and companies involved for many years. The paper wants to do a story on it and we hope the publicity will get it moving again.
The Bridge you have to cross to get to or back from Platform 2 at the Station
I did mention to the reporter that the Access to the platform goes far greater than wheelchair users, and a friend posted on social media. It has attracted many comments, elderly people struggle with the volume of steps, holiday makers with large cases, parents with more than one child, parents/grandparents and carers with pushchairs/buggies/prams, a cyclist who cannot carry their bike over the bridge, those with elderly dogs (there is a grooming parlour for pets on side 2) all have commented today and I am hoping many will be joining us tomorrow to meet the reporter and make the companies with a vested financial interest realise just how much potential income they are losing out on. It just goes to show how quickly one can lose access (even temporarily with a leg or arm break) or more permanently, or how throughout one’s life things are forever changing and at different times access is an issue. It is one of the reasons why Wymondham Access Group welcomes everyone as members as everyone has something to offer, and everyone can help promote good access. Reporting a faulty pavement, straightening up a dustbin for example (things mentioned at our last WAG meeting).
Watch this space I guess…………..