Letters to the Editor, ‘Taxi firms and disabled access’

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Monday, May 28th, 2012
Community, Letters to the Editor
Dear Editor, I was getting my disabled mum home from hospital a few days ago and I rang a local taxi firm who have a phone and poster in Daisy Hill foyer advertising wheelchair transport. I rang them and they said they had ‘no wheelchair accessible taxis on’ so I rang another local taxi firm and was told a taxi would be at least 30 minutes, which we were not prepared to wait. After an hour I rang back but was told the mini bus was not back yet and to try someone else. I rang another local taxi firm but they didn’t have anything available but when I explained what had happened to us they got a mini bus there in 5 minutes. Able bodied people can ring a taxi firm and have transport there in 5 to 10 minutes. Disabled people, especially wheelchair bound people, have on most occasions to wait up to an hour or more. This is not the first time we have been in this situation either. While I do understand that pre-booking is the best option and probably you wouldn’t encounter these problems as much, but my mother was being discharged so you can’t pre-book because while Daisy Hill will tell you a time, by the time you get a discharge letter and/or medication it is impossible to know when you are leaving the hospital. When we were in we were told 3pm but it was 4.30pm by the time we got out so pre-booking is impossible. Taxi firms in Newry need to provide proper access to transport as required by law and not just pay lip service to it. I would ask Newry Times to look at this themselves and see the provisions for the disabled/wheelchair bound people. Thanks, Mark McEvoy
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