I am surprised by Roy Mittens' antipathy to the pedestrianisation of Soho. Having lived for many years in the Bolton area, I have found the pedestrianisation of that town nothing but a success. Streets free from motor vehicles are considerably safer for those with mobility problems (including those with children or laden down by shopping) than ones on which they are constantly dodging traffic. In Bolton the charity Shopmobility provides electric vehicles for those without wheelchairs who would have great difficulty walking long distances. My experience of pedestrian schemes in both Bolton and Hull is that they go hand-in-hand with the greater provision of level access. Can Mr Mittens really justify his 'able-bodied- ism' claim?
It would appear to me that Mr Mittens' case is unfortunate but exacerbated by his decision to live in London where transport is a problem for everyone. I would suggest that Westminster council could review its policy on orange- badge-holders, but I feel the benefits of removing cars, from small streets that were not designed for them, far outweighs the inconvenience to the few.
I must finally conclude by saying that some towns naturally do not conform to Part M. The steep streets of many towns must often exceed a slope of 1:15 and rarely have flat areas every 10m. Total accessibility is never going to be realistically achieved.
Austen Redman, Hull