On behalf of members of the British Polio Fellowship in Scotland, we welcome calls to make councils responsible for ensuring businesses provide adequate wheelchair access. There is now a very real need to enforce the Equality Act.
This cause has been taken up by Christine Jardine MP and constituent (Shirley Todd), after finding 72 percent of businesses around Lothian Road in Edinburgh were not accessible. Our experience is this is not an isolated case but an issue for Scotland and indeed, the wider UK. 13.4 million people with a disability deserve better and proactive enforcement may be the only solution. As a former business owner myself, I understand some fear accessibility means increased costs for a high street already struggling. Reasonable adjustments to make life easier however need not cost the earth and help and understanding go a long way.
For our members, accessibility is a key concern and an ageing population means this is going to become a bigger issue as the years pass so resolving this now is in the long-term interests of us all. 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 us now on 0800 043 1935 or visit www.britishpolio.org.uk
National Chairman, The British Polio Fellowship