Access group comes of age

Crawley Town Access Group's marks its 21st birthday SUS-140407-095902001
Crawley Town Access Group's marks its 21st birthday SUS-140407-095902001

The Crawley Town Access Group has celebrated 21 years of “keeping the council on its toes”.

The group – known as TAG – has spent the past two decades campaigning for buildings and services in the town to be more accessible to people with disabilities.

Members and friends met at the Hawth on July 1 to enjoy a slice of cake and raise a glass to all TAG has achieved.

The cake was cut by the three remaining founder members – Kieran McKenna, Jean Morgan and Barry Tyndale – while mayor Cllr Brenda Smith and TAG president Laura Moffatt were welcomed as guests.

Cllr Smith, who broke her leg several years ago, described the difficulties she had encountered when getting around the town in a wheelchair, and said: “TAG has made Crawley a better town.”

TAG was born through the determination of the late Claire Venner, who had multiple sclerosis, and eventually had to rely on a wheelchair.

She fought for the introduction of dropped kerbs to make it easier for disabled people to cross the town’s roads.

Twenty-one years on and TAG has become the go-to group when it comes ensuring buildings and services are accessible to people with disabilities.

Chairman Chris Cheshire said: “There’s still lots to do. We haven’t magically cured the problem, we have to keep at it.”

TAG’s latest work has centred around antisocial parking at bus stops, which leaves drivers unable to lower their ramps to allow wheelchair-users onto or off of the buses.

Crawley Borough Council’s community wardens have taken to travelling on the buses to try to tackle the problem.