Following the demonstration we held outside Sheffield Town Hall last Friday I just want to thank everybody that has supported our campaign to stop the removal of the local travel concessions for disabled people. Thanks go to everybody that:
- Supported the demonstration
- People that came into the Town Hall Council Chamber to ask a question
- People that have written/emailed their local councillors and MP’s
- People that have given us feedback on how the changes will impact upon them or their families
For anybody that is interested, there is an article in last Saturday’s Sheffield Star about the demonstration and the questions asked at the council meeting last Friday.
Whilst we haven’t yet managed to change the plans for either South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority or Sheffield City Council, the fight goes on. The current position is as follows:
- South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority (SYITA) have now responded on a number of occasions to say that they will not consider changing their decision. Therefore with effect from Monday 31st March there will be no free rail travel and no free travel on buses before 9:30am. However, 2 disabled people in Sheffield, one of whom is registered blind, have taken legal advice and are challenging the authority’s decision making process, primarily for failing to consult effectively and failing to carry out meaningful Equality Impact Assessments.
- Sheffield City Council have also declined to consider funding the local travel concessions for disabled people in Sheffield, despite our estimate of annual costs being no more than £35,000. Sheffield City Council dispute this figure but have no figures of their own, nor do the transport authority, so that also brings in to question SYITA’s decision making process. We are currently considering how to pursue the matter further with Sheffield City Council.
We have not given up on this issue and the fight goes on.
Finally, thank you again for all your support and we will keep you informed of progress.
General Manager SRSB