london taxi

Penny’s Blog: Thetford New group, Transport Issues & News in Brief

Setting Up Thetford Member Group

Well, here we are Friday again, so what has been happening this week. Today I have had a couple of really good meetings:

Just been meeting with my colleague Hazel and one of the topics we are discussing is about setting up a group in Thetford. Members in the area have told us that they can’t easily get to groups and events outside of Thetford and yet there doesn’t seem to be much to go to in Thetford itself. Talking to another Organisation in Thetford they report hearing the same from disabled people in the area. So we are thinking of setting up some initial get-togethers (probably over coffee and cake – other beverages are available!) to see what kind of things people would like to go to.

If you would like to be involved or kept informed, then please do contact me penny.parker@equallives.org.uk

UK Power Networks

Ben and I also met with Cody Prior at UK Power Networks to talk about an excellent project that they are running to support people who need more help when there is a power cut. More information on the Project, what it is, and how you can sign up will follow shortly on my blog, on our Website and e-bulletin, Facebook and Twitter.

You can sign up for more information by becoming a member, or liking our facebook.

Transportlondon taxi

Tuesday and Wednesday were all about that big issue: transport.  Always a “hot” topic, with our Membership this week we have heard of issues with local Railway stations and Taxi services – not all of them I might add, just the ones that have areas for concern.

Below is a link to the Radio Show this week that featured Neil from our Wymondham Access group and the issues he has with the local train station. Their email contact details are: contact@accesswymondham.org

The show broadcast on Radio Norfolk also features Mark Harrison (CEO Equal Lives) and a response from the Rail Company.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05l15r4

Whilst the Members experience below tells of the issues she faces with both the local taxis and train station:

“As far as getting a taxi in Thetford, well the fact that there are no accessible taxis here, it means that whenever I use a taxi, I have to use my manual wheelchair, which I can’t push myself in, so have had handles added. This is a major problem if there is nobody to push me!

I have to dismantle my wheelchair so it can be put in the taxi. On numerous occasions, I’ve not been picked up because I’m in a chair, despite me quoting Equality laws. They don’t care.

The majority of taxis here won’t take me down the road which is the closest drop off point and the station has the ramp that side.

That’s not the side we are meant to use. But I can’t manage alone being dropped off and then be having to go down a path that can’t be seen from the station. Nobody to help with luggage, making it a ridiculous idea that it is the only side disabled people can use.

Some taxi drivers refuse to lift my wheelchair inside the car and I have to do it myself, as well as dismantling it, so I’m left in no fit state for anything, then I need to get my chair out again and put it back together, then pray I’m seen by staff to help by getting a ramp to get me on the train.

On numerous occasions, it’s been strangers that have helped me as I’ve not been seen, or mobility assistance hasn’t turned up. That could be a taxi organised by the Train companies when they have rail replacement buses, but the taxis aren’t there, or an inaccessible taxi has been sent, or the station has to try and order one, which might have to come three hours if that’s the closest taxi available!”

So as always there is still plenty that needs doing around making transport more accessible.

Norwich Access group Logo

Norwich Access group

Norwich Access Group are inviting interest in a Norfolk Wide Railway forum. You can find out more about this by contacting Norwich Access group:  mailto:norwichaccessgrp@btinternet.com  http://www.norwichaccessgroup.org.uk

 

Dereham Big Switch On – Accessibility

christmas lights switch on

Last year there were issues with things not being accessible, the vice chair has been chatting to the local council. The council have replied and have made plans to make the event more accessible. There is going to be an accessible Santa’s Grotto. Reserved space for disabled people to see the tree switch on will be available.

For more information contact Dereham and district Access Group:

kateme.wyatt@mike-wyatt.co.uk  

http://www.derehamaccess.org.uk/

 

Hate Crime – Information and Reporting

https://www.norfolk.police.uk/stop-hate

There is some useful info on the website as well as the protocol itself. You can also report incidents through the website!

And finally, as my computer keeps freezing and I may get very cross with it…

It was super Susan’s birthday this week as we all ate cake. The team all got their Secret Santa message for who they need to buy for. Now should that present be sensible or funny? Hmmm dilemma…

And Winnie continued to sleep on the floor so nothing new in her world!

See you next week

Penny x

 

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