IN response to your report about wheelchair access around York (April 25), I am a paraplegic and full-time wheelchair user.

It makes me seethe to read comments from business such as "the firm planned to start making the shop Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) compliant in May"; "the shop front access will be addressed as a priority"; and the Tourist Information's galling "this is a high priority issue and all efforts are being made to rectify the current situation".

Tosh, don't make me laugh!

The well-publicised DDA has been rolled out since 1997 - eight years ago.

I first visited the US in the mid-Eighties and things were better there then than they are here now, two decades on.

I was in San Francisco a few weeks ago and every public building is fully accessible, although many are very old and beautiful.

And what is this preoccupation with portable ramps? What is wrong with graduating the sloping access into the shop or restaurant etc rather than projecting out into the pavement? Dozens of businesses have done this very successfully, Waterstone's for example.

Why should I have to ring a bell (I'm not a leper) and wait in the rain, the centre of attention, while someone has to faff about fetching and positioning a ramp outside - only for me to go in for a two- minute browse?

All I want to do is access the store, without anyone else's involvement, spend my hard earned cash and leave.

With regards to "being too expensive", what is it with these companies? When has that been an excuse to ignore the law, and how many times does it need to be spelled out that better access means more customers, equals more profit?

Come on York, join the 21st century, or do you want to be the first in court?

Graeme Rudd,

Kerver Lane,

Dunnington, York.

Updated: 10:53 Wednesday, April 27, 2005