June 11, 2013
On Weds 12th June Deputy John Gollop, States’ Champion for Disabled People, hosted a discussion with disabled people about their experiences of getting around Guernsey . He was joined by Deputy Paul Le Pelley and Deputy Arrun Wilkie who recently volunteered to assist him in bringing down the barriers that disabled islanders face.
The Transport Strategy consultation document contained a specific section asking for ideas that would help meet the travel needs of disabled islanders. Difficulties with transport are one of the main reasons that disabled people can be excluded from everyday life in Guernsey.
To stimulate discussion, Rob Platts, Founder of the Guernsey Disability Alliance, reviewed the ways other jurisdictions around the world ensure that their transport system is accessible.
Deputy Gollop said “Many disabled people have spoken to me about their difficulties in getting from A to B in Guernsey and how much that holds them back from being able to go about their daily lives. As a team, Arrun, Paul and I are keen to help gather disabled people’s experiences and ideas for improvement so that we can make sure they are included in the responses to the Transport Strategy.”
Rob Platts, Chair of the GDA said: “There are some great transport ideas from other countries which we might be able to use here. For instance, we know that there are some disabled people in Guernsey who cannot take advantage of our accessible buses simply because they cannot get from their front door to the bus stop in the first place. Denmark has addressed this problem, and made sure their service is truly “public”, by requiring the bus operator provides two “door-to-door” journeys a week for those who are unable to make use of the usual bus service.”