ELDERLY and disabled people have hit out at Wrexham Council's plans to ban vehicles from the town's cemetery.
After the Mail highlighted the case of George and Jennifer Binnersley last week - who fear they will not be able to visit the graves of their two sons if they cannot drivein - the council has been criticised by outraged disabled people.
Council chiefs are proposing to ban all vehicles except hearses, claiming the pathways are too narrow, forcing motorists to drive over graves and pedestrians to climb on headstones.
But Jean Evershed, from Rhosddu, has rubbished the claims and echoed the concerns of many who are worried they will not be able to pay respects to their loved ones if they cannot drive to their graves.
Jean also believes if the ban is given the green light by the council's executive board later this month, it may be in breach of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
Section 21 of the act specifies that if 'it is impossible or unreasonably difficult for disabled persons to make use of a service, it is the duty of the provider of that service to either remove the obstructing feature, alter it or provide a reasonable alternative method of making the service available'.
However, Jean believes that plans to create more disabled parking spaces or have golf-style buggies to transport people from the car park to graves are inadequate, and has vowed to fight the council.
'I drive up to my husband Malcolm's grave nearly every day, and have done for the past 11 years,' said Jean, aged 67. 'The only reason I learned to drive was so I could visit him, because I'm on crutches and there's no way I could walk.
'Malcolm's grave is 500 yards away from the car park. How is creating more disabled parking spaces supposed to help me?'
Jean has written to MP Ian Lucas, Dr John Marek and the Disabled Rights Commission for support.
Pensioner Vera Marles, also from Rhosddu, wants to set up an action group of Wrexham residents opposed to the ban, and is furiouswith the council's decision.
'It's an absolute disgrace,' Vera said. 'My husband, mother, father and grandfather are all buried at Wrexham Cemetery and I'm so angry at this ludicrous plan, which means I'm not allowed to visit my family.'
Vera is severely disabled and has acute breathing problems. Her walking is limited to 20 yards and she carries oxygen cylinders with her at all times.
She said: 'There is simply no way I could walk to the graves carrying flowers and an oxygen cylinder. I could collapse on the path and I might not be found for hours. It's absurd. How am I supposed to get there?
'I have never seen pedestrians having to climb over graves orjump out of the way.'
Wrexham Council's chief community services officer John Bradbury said: 'There were serious concerns about the safety of pedestrians and staff.
'The Scrutiny Committee considered the needs of disabled visitors when taking his decision, and access will only be restricted after improved provisions for them are put in place.' Anyone affected by the ban or interested in forming an action group should contact the Mail on 01978 351515 and we will pass your details onto Mrs Evershed and Mrs Marles.