Fiona's story

Fiona of Canonbury: NextDoor - 24 October 2020

I do not consider myself disabled but am 65 and have arthritis in many joints, with quite a few surgeries and ongoing treatments. You would think I was fit and well to look at me, but getting around London is increasingly problematic.

The coronovirus measures on public transport, and LTNs have not helped for many reasons beyond the fact that I cannot and will not be cycling as a means of transport.

Many pavements in Islington are tricky to walk on, with broken and uneven pavings. In or after rain and with leaves on the ground is difficult to feel secure on. I don't have a car, and have to walk on such pavements to buses, tube, underground, and to my destination at the other end.

When buses jerk and move I find it painful and unstable to find a seat and to get off unless the bus is still. Carrying shopping is an added hazard! The tube involves stairs and long walks.

If I get a taxi, that involves unknown expense and time due to LTNs, which is stressful when you have to be at an appointment at a specific time. With coronovirus restrictions you cannot arrive early for many appointments either. Considerable cost is added to a return from a local shopping trip after a larger shop.

If you think, why don't I get everything delivered, the timings are so uncertain and exacerbated by LTNs, and with covid there is not easily someone to call when deliveries don't come as planned.

I do not want my life to be reduced to everything delivered or where I can walk to in 15 minutes.

Many friends and all family are not in Islington, and many are elderly and/or live where they would only visit by car, and can only be visited by car. (My husband drives - but hardly ever.) London traffic makes that impossible - even if we were allowed to meet up.

My experience applies to many people who don't neatly slot into 'elderly' or 'disabled' buckets being regularly used in discussions on this site. Families with young children are affected by the situation I describe too.

The impact of LTNs, cycle lanes and lack of adherence to social distancing, masks and hand sanitisation create argument, anger and anxiety. (So does pandemic bike theft!)

I wish you had a little more consideration of the actual experience and situation for anyone who is not young, healthy and fit and able to cycle as their main mode of transport, but also for everyone who cannot use a bike for transport for practical reasons and not just age or infirmity-related reasons