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22 March 2007

Stevenson Welcomes Council Rethink on Disabled Travel

Local MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the decision by Aberdeenshire Council to reverse its earlier decision to reduce the eligibility of taxicards for disabled persons.

Mr Stevenson wrote to the council following approaches from constituents and disabled groups concerned that the move was not fully thought out. Aberdeenshire Council had written to taxicard holders advising those who hold a Blue Badge or have access to a vehicle that they will no longer be eligible for a taxicard. A meeting of the council's Infrastructure Services Committee has now reversed this decision.

Mr Stevenson said:

"I very much welcome the decision by the council to reinstate the original terms of the taxicard scheme. The decision to reduce eligibility had caused great concern amongst service users.

"On the face of it, this must have seemed like a sensible decision to the council in order to reduce its costs. However, the decision was clearly not thought through carefully enough as many people would have been disadvantaged by the change in policy.

"For example, Multiple Sclerosis sufferers, whose condition fluctuates so that they are able to drive on some days but not on others when their condition worsens have to fall back on taxicards in order to get around.

"I am pleased that common sense has prevailed on this issue and I am sure that taxicard holders across Banff & Buchan will be greatly relieved."

Stewart Stevenson
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