We have been campaigning for greater accessibility in the UK for years. Yet when it comes to airports, Manchester is branded ‘poor’ by the Civil Aviation Authority for the second year running, and Birmingham; Stansted; and Gatwick need improvement. Little appears to have changed, with our four biggest airports failing on basic accessibility.
The BBC’s Frank Gardner’s terrible experience at Gatwick was well reported and our members recount tales of lost wheelchairs to waiting hours on the apron in the freezing rain – not ideal when cold intolerance is a key symptom of Post Polio Syndrome (PPS). Taxis, buses and trains are little better. Rarely is accessibility a matter of facilities and expensive equipment. Care and common sense goes a long way, so why is this so hard? There are now more than three million requests for disability assistance. That’s up 80 percent since 2010 and as we all get older; this number is simply going to rise.
We have an Equality Act; now the authorities need to get their act together. 13.4 million people with a disability in the UK deserve better and The British Polio Fellowship continues to support the 120,000 in the UK who now live with PPS. If you want to know what we think about accessibility or if you need our support, call 0800 043 1935 or visit www.britishpolio.org.uk
National Chairman, The British Polio Fellowship