TOWER HAMLETS TRAVEL FOCUS GROUP FARCE
I today attended the Travel Focus Group for Tower Hamlets held at the Idea Store at Whitechapel, only to realise that these group meetings are only being held as a tick box event, to show that meetings with the public had been carried out.
The first milestone was the fact that as the venue’s lifts were too small to take my mobility scooter, so it had to be left in the enrtance to the venue, forcing me to walk and use the lift up to the 3rd floor!
Then the refreshments arrived, only after we had already started the meeting!
The meeting was constantly interupted by late arrivals.
As well as attendees being asked what problems they had in getting to this very central venue, the meeting really focused on only three main subjects, Cycling, Walking and Driving.
If I hadn’t brought up some of the problems I have getting around the Borough and on public transport using my mobility scooter, facilities for the disabled would have been totally ignored.
Other than my comments, there were no other wheelchair dependant or mobility scooter dependants at the meeting, and no others with clear disabilities, so although I tried to expand the questions, before we knew it, the one hour allocated was up, and the organisers ensured the meeting finished on schedule, with all of my remaining questions unasked, even though I clearly stated that I had a lot more questions to ask, as the filming of the event will show.
Although there were 3 of these ‘Focus Groups’ being held over 2 days, it is clear to me that this was no more than a paper exercise to please the record books.
The problems being experienced by the disabled in the borough was being brushed under the carpet. Again.