The independent London newspaper

Can all planners engage with us who need more user-friendly facilities?

31 January, 2019

• I AM in great sympathy with your January 24 Comment when you refer to the “under-represented group” of the elderly and disabled and their needs, (Elderly must not lose out in the traffic war of attrition).

This group, growing larger as we all live longer and benefit from modern medicine, is consistently ignored in shiny new traffic and redevelopment schemes.

While talking glibly about improving conditions for pedestrians and cyclists, those in charge are talking about younger, more able-bodied pedestrians. This group can move faster, walk further, and tend not to have impaired eyesight, poor hearing, or inability to carry heavy bags!

Elsewhere in the paper, Cllr Adam Harrison suggests that most of those visiting hospitals such as UCH will use public transport. He is correct, many of them will, but not all. My neighbour in her 80s, who has to visit the hospital regularly, uses a minicab or a black cab to return from her treatment.

The walk to the bus or tube station is not always feasible for older people, particularly those in those in poor health coming or going from hospital.

Cuts to the timetable of buses such as the C11 severely affect many of those visiting the Royal Free, and the proposals to move some of the RFH services to Enfield seems, quite frankly, cruel to this “under-represented group”.

Another thing that makes life easier is somewhere to sit down, but benches are frequently removed at the request of the police as they encourage undesirable behaviour.

A rest for tired legs is eminently desirable and even essential for some, but it seems no one cares. Please could planners in all walks of life engage with those of us who need more user-friendly facilities?

Leader of the Liberal Democrats


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