Image description: The picture shows a cobbled road with a disabled sign and an arrow pointing forward. The inner image shows a no through road for vehicles. The title reads Brighton: Can you help a disabled woman with ME/CFS trapped in her own home because of road closure? ME Association logo bottom right

Brighton: Can you help a disabled woman with ME/CFS trapped in her own home because of road closure?

By Ann Ingle.

I’m a housebound woman, with various disabilities including severe ME. I am over 50, and have just received an autism diagnosis. I am a resident of Gardner Sreet, Brighton where there was a TRO (Traffic Regulation Order) passed by Brighton and Hove City Council earlier this year.

This meant that my road was closed to daytime traffic and has resulted in me being trapped in my own home, unable to get to various appointments or access the community. It has all been a very frightening experience. I’m unable to use a wheelchair or walk outside so rely solely on door-to-door transport.

This is such an important issue for all sorts of disabilities and chronic health conditions, but my ME means that it is impossible to get around. I am unable to go any distance at all in street environments (and I cannot walk outside) as the combination of not being able to hold myself up and the amount of information my brain is having to organise is too much. In a vehicle I can lie sideways or flat if needed. I do have several other medical difficulties but ME and an ineffective balance system are the prevalent ones in this circumstance.

Thankfully, Brighton and Hove City Council are now reviewing the TRO, and are seeking public acceptance of the revised proposals by the 01 September 2023 when the consultation will end.

The new proposals (TRO-35a-2023 & TRO-35b-2023) would allow me weekly access to vehicles Monday-Thursday and I’d be able to attend appointments. It would allow access for all disabled people that need vehicles – as mobility aids, taxi’s, or community transport – to enjoy the street as we did last year. It’s not a perfect solution, but it is a compromise that the Council developed with local businesses.

I’m asking if you would support this new proposal and would be grateful if you could complete the council’s consultation form or send them an email (much easier) to approve the revised TROs for Gardner Street. I risk quite a lot in being vocal about this issue as it seems to get mixed up with other debates, but this is about disabled people that need vehicles as a mobility aid (whether as their only mobility aid or as part of their ‘mix’ of mobility aids).

I feel mobility is a really important disability issue that isn’t talked about enough – especially for housebound people and those with high mobility needs. Please feel free to send details about the consultation to other disability-friendly organisations and individuals – especially those based in the Brighton and Hove area.

Thank you in advance for your support. It means a great deal.

Email the council

1.      Title: I approve TRO-35a-2023 and TRO-35b-2023 for Gardner Street.

2.      Please say that you approve the proposals and give your reasons in the body of the email.

3.      Include: Your full name, address, and postcode.

4.     Send to:

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