Unequal Rights

DisabledCyclistSign-300x184The concept of the cycle as a mobility aid is taken more seriously in some places than others. Graffiti aside, this sign outside a library in Denmark is the best icon I’ve seen to represent the cultural chasm running down the middle of the North Sea. I challenge anyone to post a picture of an equivalent sign denoting disabled cycle parking in the UK.

Thanks to Cycle Chic blogger, photographer and style guru  Mikeal Coalville-Anderson for bringing this to our attention. You can read more about danish mobility aids here in his daily record of life in and around Copenhagen.

Compare that with this story of everyday life in our own cycling capital, where Ann Wright was prevented from cycling considerately along London’s South Bank by a PCSO.

Ann is a graduate of Wheels for Wellbeing, the social inclusion charity supporting disabled people to cycle in South London. With their help she tried cycling and enjoyed it so much she bought her own trike to use as a mobility aid. A long and successful journey to a more independent life. You’d think so, until you’re stopped in your tracks by officious anti-cycling dogma.

A one-off? Just a misunderstanding? Unfortunately not. I met Ann at the Cycle Show back in October and in a lull we got chatting about the Sky Ride. There were sections where riding wasn’t allowed and she was stopped from riding her trike at a walking pace. Here’s another challenge folks, find me a paralympian who can push a trike whilst walking on crutches.

If Linford Christie and Paula Radcliffe arrived at the South Bank on mobility scooters, PCSOs would part like the Red Sea. Come on Boris, you can spot common sense when it’s down and out for the count. How about showing the lady some respect and giving back her dignity?

And once that’s sorted, what about some disabled cycle parking?

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