AN Ilfracombe pensioner has said soaring fuel prices have left him virtually marooned in his own town. David Beagley is 72, registered disabled and unable to walk far from his home in hilly Station Road due to breathing difficulties. He and wife Anne, 71,
AN Ilfracombe pensioner has said soaring fuel prices have left him virtually marooned in his own town.David Beagley is 72, registered disabled and unable to walk far from his home in hilly Station Road due to breathing difficulties.He and wife Anne, 71, have until now managed on their old age pension but with the price of diesel more than £1.30 a litre at many filling stations, their car is becoming an expensive burden."I can't walk up Station Road, or the alternative route, in fact I can't really go anywhere unless I have wheels," Mr Beagley told the Gazette."As a disabled person I get mobility allowance and free car tax, but because the cost of diesel is now so high we can barely use our car and save it for emergencies such as hospital appointments."We do about 3,000 miles a year now and the last time I filled the tank it cost me £65 - you can't afford to keep doing that on pension."Mr Beagley has written to every Labour MP calling for the Government and Parliament to take action.He says Britain pays £60 billion each year to the European Union - more than enough to cover the tax on fuel - and sees nothing in return."If they were to knock that off the cost of fuel it would bring it down so low the cost of living in this country would drop through the floor," he said.Neighbour Brian Langmead is 62 and in the same boat. Although he is not yet a pensioner, he suffers from severe arthritis, is registered as disabled and cannot walk far."I go into Barnstaple one day a week and other than that I don't use the car," he said."By far the majority of older people must use their cars, because many suffer from conditions which make it easier for them than catching a bus."Mr Beagley added: "People don't realise how isolated you can begin to feel if you can't get out."It's cheaper to use the bus, but if I do that I have to walk to the bottom of the hill to the stop, then try to get up it on the way back.