Last week, we discussed the effective curfew for people with mobility disabilities effected by the nighttime closure of lifts to pedestrian bridges over busy roads. Today, this story appeared in a Perth community newspaper:
Victoria Park councillor Claire Anderson says minimum accessibility standards are not good enough after she was left with no way to get onto the platform at Victoria Park train station last week.
About 3.30pm last Wednesday, Cr Anderson, who uses a wheelchair, was on her way to a doctor’s appointment in Perth with her daughter when she discovered the lift to the platform was broken. She said there was no other way to get down the stairs to board the train so she had to miss her appointment.
“It was annoying, but imagine if I’d been coming from Perth and arrived at the station with no way off the platform,” she said. “Sometimes I come home from the city late at night and there isn’t always a security guard – what would I have done?”
She said the lift was not working on the Tuesday either.
OK, so a councillor with a disability and a legitimate grievance is making noise about accessibility not being good enough. What’s your response?
Blame the crips, of course!
Public Transport Authority media manager David Hynes acknowledged the lift had been broken twice during the week.
He said the first time it was fixed on the same day. But it was damaged again later in the week, only working intermittently, before being repaired again on Thursday.
“This damage, to the door sensor mechanisms, was originally thought to have been vandalism, but could have been caused by something like a gopher* being repeatedly run into the doors,” Mr Hynes said.
Of course. That’s what it must have been. There’s nothing disabled scooter users, many of whom have chronic pain and no cash, love doing more than repeatedly ramming into essential-service lift doors at high speed until either they break or the scooter does. Heck, it’s the new Paralympics sport. Didn’t you hear?
*I’m not sure if this is a localism – a “gopher” is a mobility scooter.