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Not ghettos but getting the best quality of life

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letters

In reply to Roy Mitten's letter (aj 16.9.99, see also aj 26.8.99 and aj 9.9.99) I do not suggest that 'disabled people move to a specially designed ghetto', unless anywhere in the British Isles outside London can be called a ghetto. I can't, and wouldn't wish to, compel anyone to live anywhere but I would suggest that some provincial cities offer the disabled a better quality of life than does the capital.

London should be seen as a special case; many people are excluded from living there for various reasons. I can't afford to live in London because of the ridiculously high property prices there: I am a victim of Regionalism which has concentrated wealth in the south east to the detriment of the rest of the country. Many people in Britain are forced to 'up roots, leave . . . home and city, family and friends' because of the lack of employment opportunities in their area.

Everyone's quality of life would be improved if private cars were only ever used by those, such as Mr Mitten, who need them. I'm sure most readers have already seen their journey times doubled by the seasonal flood of 'school run' Volvos on the road. Why not only orange badge holders allowed to drive in town centres? Why not children walking to school? Things can be done if councils and governments pull their fingers out and make some positive interventions.

To return to architecture, Roy Mitten's comments on the often conflicting needs of the disabled are well worth bearing in mind. Too many new projects concede to a 1 per cent of wheelchair users, with a disabled toilet cubicle and a lift in some obscure corner, while the ambulant disabled are virtually ignored entirely.

Austen Redman, Hull

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