Send your news, photos and videos by texting bucksfreepress to 80360 or email
Wycombe aims to become most disabled friendly district
'MORALLY reprehensible' taxi fares for wheelchair users have been castigated by a councillor who wants Wycombe to become the most disabled friendly district in the UK.
Wycombe District Council's Cabinet has approved a wide ranging raft of proposals put forward by Liberal Democrat Cllr Brian Pollock to improve life for residents with disabilities.
The aspiration now is to make it the best district in Britain for disabled residents.
Cllr Pollock has been working closely with leading disability campaigner Alison Lewis, from Marlow.
He highlighted the fact she was quoted £50 for a return trip from Marlow to High Wycombe.
"I think that's morally really quite reprehensible," he told a meeting.
He presented the review he has been carrying out with Ms Lewis, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, and cited high cab prices as one of the issues with transport that needed addressing.
Councillor Pollock who has a daughter with multiple sclerosis, said: "The challenge for us is to be the best council for the disabled.
"Irrespective of political party if we can achieve that in the next year wouldn't that be fantastic especially in the county that started the Paralympics."
Discussions with taxi and bus companies will form part of the council's strategy for improvements going forward. Cllr Pollock cited the words of Lord Seb Coe, who spoke at the closing ceremony of the Paralympics, when he said: "In this country will never think of sports the same will never think of the disabled the same way."
Cabinet Members who supported the recommendations included Cllr Jean Teesdale, who has a sister with multiple sclerosis in her 60s. Cllr Teesdale, Conservative, said she had been quoted a taxi for £40 each way for Amersham Hospital to Radnage which she labelled ridiculous.
She said, in looking after her sister: "There are quite a lot of problems that I see daily and have to work with to get a better life for my sister."
WDC is the licensing authority for hackney carriages.
Spokesman Sue Robinson said: "We do fix tariffs for hackney carriages (taxis) and they are not able to charge more than the metered fare. "By law we cannot impose any control over fares charged by private hire vehicles (mini cabs) so this is a matter for market forces to determine."
She added everyone should get a quote from taxi firms before booking and once this has been given companies can not charge more.