Parents of disabled son say carers won’t be able to park
A FAMILY with a disabled son fear they will be forced to sell their home of 34 years if a Sprint bus service from Walsall to Birmingham goes ahead.
Linda and Dave Lloyd, who live in Walsall Road in Birmingham, have a 31-year-old son, Daniel, with autism and severe learning difficulties who requires round-the-clock care from healthcare professionals.
He receives several visits a day from healthcare workers, who use the hard shoulder outside the home for parking.
However, under proposals for the new £110 million Sprint bus service, the hard shoulder that so many residents and business- es rely on along the Walsall Road would be removed to make way for a bus lane. The proposals have been the subject of much controversy, with claims from residents that they were not properly consulted. It is something the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) denies.
The WMCA has now revealed it would be considering alterations to the proposals after receiving feedback.
However, Mrs Lloyd says that if the original proposals go ahead and the hard shoulder is removed, the family will be forced to sell up so Daniel can continue to receive care.
“We’ve lived here for 34 years, and if it goes ahead then we’ve got to put our house up for sale,” she says. “The Sprint bus is going to happen anyway, but it’s the way that it’s going to be put along the road that’s the problem for us.
“It’s going to take away the parking outside the house, which is going to be very inconvenient for the residents.
“We’ve got a drive, but because we’ve got Daniel we have to have carers that come during the day that take him out, or come and stay so we can go out, because he’s 24/7. So if two carers come, where are they going to park?
“Now because my son has got both autism and severe learning difficulties, and he’s got anxiety, they have to stop outside the house. He’s got no awareness of danger so for me, to bring the bus lane nearer to the house, it’s incredibly dangerous. I have said to them that I’ll hold them fully responsible if anything happens to my son. We definitely will have to move house.”
The WMCA claims an exhaustive consultation took place on all of the Sprint bus routes, with those households affected leafleted.
A spokesman for WMCA said: “We urge the family to get in touch with us so we can look at the specific circumstances and seek to address their concerns.
“During our consultation the loss of on-street parking was a key issue for some residents and businesses. As a result we have committed to look at this again as we develop our plans for Sprint on the A34.”
>An artist’s impression of how the new ‘Sprint’ bus could look on the A45 Small Heath Highway in Birmingham. Right: Linda and Dave Lloyd