Back in the 90’s when I lived in Holland, if I wanted to do a course or attend something organised with visitors in mind, organisers had to be mindful that it would need to be accessed by all, preferably using public transport and where possible by bike. Parking would usually be limited and even where it wasn’t, they would put on special buses where needed.
Fast forward to the 21st Century in Cambridgeshire and I have to attend a course as part of my job organised by Cambridgeshire County Council. I have to attend it and it’s the last and only course after the last one I was booked on, within cycling distance from my home, back in October was cancelled. This one on Saturday is in Over, which from Ely, involves driving. I don’t think there is any other way of getting there.
So as someone who doesn’t drive I would like to be able to get there by other means, the only means though, is cadging a lift with another participants, who are also pretty peeved that they have to drive. In fact pretty much all the other participants in Ely are miffed that they have to drive when there are easily enough participants to hold a course in Ely.
The County Council are under no obligation to put courses in places accessible to those without access to a car, which to me, feels like discrimination. They would not consider using a venue without disabled access, but using one which is only accessible by car is fine.
So, when the people who don’t drive fill out the feedback forms, should they be ticking Yes where it asks if you have a disability. Perhaps then, they might have to stop discriminating and forcing people into their cars unnecessarily.
I don’t drive. I didn’t want to use a car and yet there is no other choice.