Judith’s fight for disabled access

Laura Merry, Judith Merry and John Bercow
Laura Merry, Judith Merry and John Bercow

A WOMAN suffering with a muscle-wasting disease is calling on the government to make public transport more accessible for the disabled.

Judith Merry, 22, from Worminghall, is a national ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign’s Trailblazers youth group.

Last year, wheelchair-bound Judith was left stranded late at night in London after she and her mother Teresa attempted to board a public bus.

Her mother Teresa boarded, but instead of putting the bus’ ramp down for Judith, the driver closed the doors and pulled away. When confronted, he claimed not to have seen Judith, but the driver has since been reprimanded.

Miss Merry, a former pupil at Lord Williams’s School, said: “I just try to get on with things, but my mum was very upset.

“There is a lot more to do to make transport accessible for the disabled, for example many of my friends and peers are ignored at bus stops and by taxis all the time.

“My sister, who also has muscular dystrophy, has experienced the problem frequently. My example is just one of many.

“It’s the perception and training of the drivers which needs improving, and we are working to achieve this.”

National group Trailblazers met with the minister for transport, Norman Baker, and a panel of MPs and transport bosses on Thursday in Parliament to raise awareness of the difficulties faced by the disabled when using public transport.

During this meeting, Judith’s story was used in evidence.

Project manager for the group, Bobby Ancil, described the session as a ‘success’.