Par­ents of dis­abled son say car­ers won’t be able to park

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Tom Dare Lo­cal Democ­racy Re­porter

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

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