Woman’s call for disabled people to take action

Carol Goodman is calling on other disabled people to boycott shops with no access.
Carol Goodman is calling on other disabled people to boycott shops with no access.

A woman who is frustrated at not being able to get access into some Wisbech premises is calling on disabled people to unite to get action.

Carol Goodman (54) contacted the Citizen on Wednesday because she is fed up with having to stay out of some premises because she is in a powered wheelchair.

She said she was so “miffed” on Wednesday she went into the council’s One-Stop shop to ask to speak to conservation officials about access ramps and call on them to be more considerate to the plight of the disabled.

Carol is hoping other disabled people will come forward as a result of this story so that a group can be formed to fight for action.

“I would like to put out a call to all disabled people in the town to boycott the shops that won’t or can’t have disabled access,” said Carol, who suffered a spine injury over 30 years ago when she fell down stairs.

“I would like to see if we can’t get a group going to get something done or if someone would come forward to guide and help us,” said Carol.

“Bear in mind there is an awful lot of disabled people in Wisbech you are basically limiting what shops we can use.

“I think they are breaking the law by not allowing access. It limits where disabled people can go and shop.”

Because of her injury, Carol explained even a small step or bump is a problem.

She said a visit to the town’s Citizens’ Advice Bureau is difficult for her because although there is a ramp, she can’t manage the small step at the top.

When she visited the CAB on Wednesday Carol said: “I opened the door and called out to someone who came out and I passed on some paperwork because of the small step.”

Carol was on crutches but her condition has deteriorated and over four years ago she ended up needing a wheelchair to get around town.

Another obstacle Carol said she faces is drivers who park part on and part off the kerb meaning she can’t get through in her wheelchair. She either has to go back and find the nearest dropped kerb or go out into the road.

A spokesperson for Fenland Council said: “We encourage all shops and businesses to do everything they can to help disabled people. They have to comply with the law, which states that they must make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to provide access to their services.

“Inevitably, however, some circumstances pose real problems. It is then a question of what is deemed ‘reasonable’ and that involves balancing various factors.”

• If you want to join Carol’s campaign contact the Citizen news desk on 01945-586138 and we will pass on your details.

Why not tell us what you think? Email a letter to our Readers’ View at: news@fenlandcitizen.co.uk