Richmond pays tribute as disability rights campaigner MBE Alan Benson passes away

By Emily Dalton

19th Dec 2023 | Local News

Alan Benson awarded Freedom of the Borough. (Photo: Richmond Council)
Alan Benson awarded Freedom of the Borough. (Photo: Richmond Council)

Alan Benson, MBE and Trustee of local Charity Ruils, passed away 17 December.

An accessibility activist, Alan was awarded an MBE in 2022 for his services towards public transport for disabled people, and was given Richmond's Freedom of the Borough last year.

Leader of Richmond Council Cllr Gareth Roberts has offered condolences to MBE Alan Benson's family on the sad news of his death.

Cllr Roberts said: "Alan has made a remarkable contribution to the lives of disabled and older people, particularly in London. With a special interest in transport, Alan and the teams he worked with have achieved many things for accessible transport across the city.

"We are incredibly lucky to have had Alan as a resident of our borough, and to have had him as part of the small group who have Freedom of the Borough. We are particularly grateful for his long-term dedication to local independent-living charity Ruils. He leaves behind an immeasurable legacy through everything he has done to help make our borough and our city a fairer place."

Ruils have created a page where people can leave a tribute or message, which you can access here.

Alan also sits on the Board of Transport for All, London Travel Watch, and co-chairs the Department for Transport's Inclusive Transport Stakeholder Group.

MP Munira Wilson posted on X: "Alan was a tireless campaigner for the rights of disabled people. It was always a pleasure to speak to him. My thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones."

Many councillors and campaigners poured out their condolences and expressed sympathies on social media. They acknowledged he was a great disability rights campaigner, as well as having a "dry" and "wicked" sense of humour.

He featured on the Shaw Trust's Disability Power 100 list of the most influential disabled people.


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