Although not (yet!) confined to a wheelchair, I am disabled myself and I therefore feel very politically correct. However, it was refreshing to read Paul Finch's leader (AJ 22.7.99) and to find that others, besides me, have incorrect thoughts at times.
A lot has been achieved by the disabled lobby and rightly it is the wheelchair users who grab the headlines. But as architects we know that millions of pounds have been allocated to the problem of access for the disabled. Fair enough - but how do the wheelchair users get there in the first place, and what about the thousands more who are car owners and have an orange badge which gives various concessions and privileges?
The four central London boroughs - the City, Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster and Camden - because of their particular parking problems, all have separate schemes for the disabled. Over the years these have evolved in different ways and the result is unfair chaos. Adjoining councils have no reciprocal arrangement.
I have had lengthy correspondence with my mp and with the Disabled Parking Action (sic) Committee, to no avail.
The purpose of this letter is to point out that there is one error in these otherwise excellent arguments. It is no good providing cars for the disabled, specially adapted or not, if there is nowhere for them to park. This may be mostly a London problem, but it confirms the muddled thinking that surrounds these politically correct areas.
Noel Wurr, London NW3