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Freedom Pass

In February 2009 Good4You became aware that the Merton Borough Council (as well as other councils) was telling disabled Freedom Pass applicants that they had to apply for a driver’s license, be refused, and get a letter stating that they had been refused a driver’s license - in order to get a Freedom Pass. On presentation of this letter they would be granted a disabled person’s freedom pass. Good4You formally notified Merton Borough Council that the law states that one is entitled to a Freedom Pass if you would be refused a driver’s license if you applied*. The law did not require actual application. The council refuted this and Good4You appointed a solicitor to take the matter up. On the 31st July 2009 the council acknowledged, in writing, that the law does not require disabled people to actually apply for a driver’s license just to be refused in order to obtain a Freedom Pass, and granted the single Freedom pass in dispute**.


Good4You pointed out to the council that it was not good enough to grant just one person a Freedom Pass while still requiring all other disabled people to actually be refused a driver’s license. The application form had to be changed as did the entire application process. Good4You wrote to the GLA and to councillor Carole Pidgeon, chair of the transport committee, London Assembly, and to Nick Lester at the GLA and to councillor Andrew Judge, (Merton council) on the 28th March 2010, asking that the freedom pass forms be changed so that disabled people were not sent to the DVLA to actually apply for, and be refused a driving license. For several months nothing was done and Good4You pointed out that Merton Borough Council had said, in writing, that it is “wrong to require an actual refusal of a driver’s license” but continued to do so. Good4You said in the letter that when the council knows that it its doing something wrong, admits it, and continues to do it, that is “wilful and deliberate unethical conduct”. Within a month of raising the issue of “wilful and deliberate unethical conduct” all Freedom Pass application forms across London were changed so that disabled people were no longer required to actually apply for a driver’s license. Today disabled people are granted a Freedom Pass “if they would be refused a driver’s license”

 
* - See paragraph 12 on p.56 of the Guidance to Local Authorities .pdf file
** - See both attached images of the letter 
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Francois Andre Greeff,
11 Dec 2011, 10:37
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Francois Andre Greeff,
11 Dec 2011, 10:44
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Francois Andre Greeff,
11 Dec 2011, 10:44
Ċ
Francois Andre Greeff,
11 Dec 2011, 10:37
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