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MP finds out for himself the difficulties experienced by wheelchair users in Kendal

October 4, 2006 12:00 AM
Tim Farron MP on a fact-finding mission with a wheelchair user

Tim Farron MP spent an hour seeing for himself what it was like to get around town in an electric wheelchair

Local MP Tim Farron today joined local resident Ian Knowles to find out for himself the difficulties faced by wheelchair users navigating round Kendal. Tim borrowed a motorised scooter and joined Ian on his usual journey from Rinkfield into Kendal.

Speaking after his fact-finding mission, Tim said:

"I spent an hour with Ian travelling from the Rinkfield estate into Kendal Town Centre. I don't for one moment assume that I got a complete picture, or that I'm now able to fully empathise with wheelchair users and others with mobility difficulties. But I was able to see at first hand the obstacles (quite literally!) to moving around Kendal in a wheelchair or a motorised scooter.

"The major difficulty was the lack of adequately dropped kerbs and the senseless situation where there is a dropped kerb on one side of a busy road, and none on the other side.

"People who make decisions about road and pavement surfaces and widths, and disabled access really do need to listen to the experiences of wheelchair users. Too much of Kendal is difficult to access for a wheelchair user simply because not enough thought has been given to those who use wheelchairs when the roads and pavements were designed.

"I will be asking for action from the County Council in several cases where the pathway is uneven, impassable, or too narrow or where there are insufficient or missing dropped kerbs. I will also be asking for disability groups to be consulted as a matter of course when all road and pavement alterations are being planned."