Join our campaign to get the law changed
I visited my local Asda on Thursday evening. The car park there is currently a bit of a mess as they are upgrading the surface and, credit to Asda, adding new disabled parking spaces next to the entrance. There are now 6 new spaces, and on Thursday evening all were full. One was occupied by a Safestyle UK van, 2 others had people sat in the driving seat, busy on their phones and the other 3 cars were all empty. None of the 6 was displaying a Blue Badge, which got my blood boiling.
I spoke to the security guard inside the store and asked if the disabled parking spots were ever policed by anyone. He said that there was someone, but if they were lucky, he only came around once a day. Which effectively means anyone can park there and no one bothers!
Private land spaces are a free-for-all
Whilst it an offence to park in an on-street Blue Badge parking bay without displaying a valid Blue Badge, this does not apply to disabled bays on private land like a supermarket. Here, it is just down to how the land owner decides to police it. For most organisations, providing the places in the first instance seems to be the beginning and end of their involvement. They have ‘ticked the box’ and fulfilled their legal obligations, but after that are not really bothered.
Part of the problem with these spaces is their very convenient location, right by the entrance, making them attractive to just ‘nip-in’ to the store for a few minutes. Most of the wheelchair users we have spoken to say it is not the location of the spot that is important, but the space to be able to get their car door fully open and manoeuvre their chair into the car. Moving the spaces away from the entrance may sort this, but would penalise those with limited mobility, who are not in a wheelchair.
Besides which, putting parking spots with greater space away from the entrance is more likely to attract the ‘Clarkson parkers’ who are frightened of getting their pride and joy dented.
Sign our petition and let’s improve things
So, something needs to be done to sort this. Disabled parking spaces on private land should be given the same status as no-street Blue-Badge parking bays, with offenders being fined and/or points on their license. Ireland seems a bit more advanced than the UK, as this story, about a man being given a 6 month ban and a £750 fine for abusing a space, shows.
We need to get the law in this country changed to cover this, so please help by signing the petition we have setup on the No 10 Downing Street website and share this post with the hashtag #DisabledParking
Let’s get something done about it now!