Re: Carers Pay to travel in London
Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:23 pm
Really intrigued which areas in the UK get free carer travel with the person they care for. Know it's definitely not happening in London.
Parents of disabled youngsters dismayed at Windermere carers' cruise charges.
A COUPLE who planned to take their two disabled children on a Windermere cruise say they have been forced to cancel the trip because they will be charged for their own tickets even though they are full time carers for the youngsters.
David Williams said while as carers he and his wife were financially constrained, they had always had free admission to other attractions which enabled them to afford such family trips, so he was dismayed when Windermere Lake Cruises told him they would be charged.
"We have both had to give up our jobs to become carers for our children so we are on a very tight budget and when I was told myself and my wife would be charged, it put the trip out of reach which was so disappointing for our children," he said.
However, Windermere Lake Cruises said while carers of disabled adults received concessionary tickets, a policy to charge adult carers of disabled children had been in place for a number of years and had been implemented for valid reasons.
Mr Williams and his wife, who live in Maghull, Merseyside, have three sons, Harry, aged six, Bradley, who is eight, and 10-year-old Elliott. The elder two have autism and other related conditions.
The couple had called at Windermere Lake Cruises and asked about a future trip and what identification would be required for a carer discount to be applied, only to be told they would be charged full price for their own tickets, which Mr Williams said put the excursion beyond their reach.
"I was so surprised because we have taken the children absolutely everywhere to try to give them a full and happy life and we have never been charged before," he said.
"We have visited the Odeon cinema and Knowsley Safari Park among other places and they have not charged for us.
"There is so much being done nowadays to raise awareness of autism and we just feel this is so disappointing.
"This will stop many disabled children enjoying a day out on the lake as many carers are unpaid so cannot afford to accompany the child they are with."
A spokesperson for Windermere Lake Cruises explained that a decision had been made on the issue at board level which had been implemented in July 2014 and had been operating since then.
The spokesperson said the company was fully committed to eliminating disability discrimination and that their policy was detailed and explained in the company's terms and conditions which are available on the company's website.
"It is our policy is that we do not allow children under the age of 16 to travel unaccompanied on any of our vessels," the terms and conditions read.
"This applies to disabled passengers as well as non-disabled passengers therefore no concessionary tickets are given to either disabled children or their parents/carers, which ensures that all of our passengers are treated equally and fairly."
A spokesman for Ullswater Steamers told the Westmorland Gazette that their own company policy was not to charge for adult carers of disabled children, and a representative of the Lake District Wildlife Park at Bassenthwaite said they had a similar policy of allowing free admission for adult carers of disabled youngsters.
Scrapping free bus passes will hit low income carers hard, says Tory councillor.
Cllr Christine Richardson said " Taking money away from these people is doing them a disservice."
Carers on low incomes are going to be hit hard if their free bus pass is scrapped, claims one Tory councillor.
Surrey County Council says it is one of the few areas left in the country that still offers free bus passes for companions of people with a disability who need help to travel.
But one of the proposals as part of its major consultation into the future of travel, libraries, SEND services and recycling centres is to scrap the concession.
Hours for when a disability bus pass is valid will also be limited to between 9.30am and 11pm.
It estimates these changes will save around £400,000 a year.
Speaking out against the proposals, Cllr Christine Richardson, Conservative member of Elmbridge Borough Council (EBC), whose leader Tim Oliver is set to take over running Surrey County Council if voted in next month, says scrapping the free pass will have a big impact.
She said: “The whole point of giving carers a free bus pass is because they are on such a low income in the first place and they need to get the person they are caring for to hospital appointments.
“Taking money away from these people is doing them a disservice when they are really struggling to look after with people with special needs.”
Her comments came at SCC and EBC Local Committee on Monday (November 26) when councillors got the chance to grill officers over the major changes set out in the consultation.
Giving a voice to parents of children with special educational needs and disabilities, Cllr Richardson said she understood how SEND services needed changing in Surrey due to her experience with her son.
She added: “Having lived in other areas other than Surrey, my experience of Surrey SEN was the worst of any area. I struggled to even get them to turn up when we had meetings at school for the statement.”
So far, 500 people have responded to the SEND section of the consultation, with 2,500 people providing comment on changes to the library service.
The proposals also include closing children centres, libraries and community recycling centres.
On Monday, councillors said they were hearing from residents about the fears over the proposed closures and what that would mean for access to services.
Committee chairman Cllr John O'Reilly said the re-organisation was really going to impact those in "May's just about managing" category.
Cllr Mary Lewis, lead member for education and schools, said: “This is not about cuts. If we were having this consultation in the context of an outstanding service, then I would understand the anxiety, but we are having this consultation in the context of an inadequate Ofsted.”
SCC needs to make a further £200m savings between now and 2021.
Mary Burguieres, strategic lead for continuous improvement and change at SCC, said this was a “fundamental restructure and review of how SCC delivers services”.
The consultation runs until January 4.
Grayling announces half-price train tickets for teenagers and a third off fares for 26 to 30-year-olds with two new railcards.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling boasted last night that new railcards for teenagers and under-30s will cut fares for a " Generation. "
Mr Grayling announced a new railcard for those aged 16 and 17 in a bid to take the sting out of the backlash against fare increases.
This will extend half-price child fares to up to 1.2million teenagers, saving hundreds of pounds a year for families.