Transport CommitteeWritten evidence from loella Harris (DAT 93)

I’m registered disabled and am not allowed to drive for medical reasons, but have been told by both the DVLA and my local county council that I’m not allowed a disabled person’s bus pass as I’m ineligible.

In order to get these passes you have to be: 

partially sighted (I’m short sighted & colour-blind);

suffering from a permanent disability or injury, which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on the ability to walk (I suffer from congenital displacement of Hips and am missing 3 vertebrae in my spine);

have a learning disability as defined in the Transport Act 2000 (a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind which includes significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning)—I suffer with autism and had a TIA (mini stroke) last year;

refused or likely to be refused a driving licence on medical grounds (I’m prone to black outs)

As you can see from the above, I meet more that one of the criteria, making me eligible to have this pass, but have been refused a pass in the past.

My brother suffers from the same conditions as me and has been given one of these passes. 

Transport costs keep rising and with me being on benefits, makes it really hard to afford public transport costs. this means if my husband isn’t around to drive me to places, I’m stuck in my flat all day.

Thanks for taking the time to read this & I hope something can be done to help me & others who may face a similar situation.

May 2013

Prepared 13th September 2013