Devon people with learning difficulties call for action against transport troubles
By Trudi_B | Monday, November 19, 2012, 14:35
Many Devon people with learning disabilities avoid using buses or trains because it is often too much of a confusing or emotional obstacle course, says a special report by their support charity Brandon Trust.
It also highlights, that even when they did venture out on their own they faced a whole range of restrictions.
The report was drawn up following a 100 people 100 Voices Conference staged by the charity, which provides support for young people and adults living across the region.
Now the report is calling on Devon's councils, communities in partnership and supportive charities to come together to draw up a range of improved transport solutions for all those with learning disabilities and autism.
Brandon Trust Chief Executive Lucy Hurst-Brown said it was clear that some collective action was needed when it came to raising the awareness of transport staff, taxi drivers and the traveling public to the needs of those Devon people with learning disabilities.
"On the practical side, life could be made so much easier by simply scrapping the 9.30am concessionary bus pass start, so that the people we support would not have to pay such a high price to get to college or work," she said.
While people with learning disabilities, like all other disadvantaged groups, also suffered from the high cost of transport, lack of routes and limited timetables, so much more could be done by introducing a range of easily achievable measures, said Ms Hurst-Brown.
These included easier-to-read timetables and complaints procedures and the prominent display of a telephone number at bus stops or train stations which people could use if there were delays or cancellations and they needed assistance, she said.
"It should also be made clear that that while there are worrying failings in Devon's transport system, there are many staff who are caring and do treat those with learning disabilities with kindness and respect," said Ms Hurst-Brown.