We always welcome a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers. This one from Newport resident Don Smith. Ed
About eight years ago I was allocated a disabled bay on the roadside outside my home. To obtain this Bay I had to be examined by Social Service, Welfare and a letter from my GP.
This bay was a great help to me, and apart from one inconsiderate person using it to park his van, there were few problems, that was until the markings [paint] started to fade; more inconsiderate people started to use the parking bay.
Reported to police
I wrote to the Chief Constable who informed me to call the police every time that this happened. This I have done, however, if a parking space was available on the road I would use a vacant space.
Some of these inconsiderate people would park in my space for days; and on one occasion one person left his car in the space whilst he went on holiday.
This caused me very much inconvenience and pain. I suffer from a serious spine disease, following radiotherapy and hormone treatment for cancer.
Some weeks ago I applied to the IW Council to have my parking bay repainted, so to make it more visible to drivers. None of my neighbours in my Close ever use this bay.
Six month wait or cough up £75
I was informed by the council that to have the bay re-marked I would have to wait six months, alternatively, I could pay £75 and the work would be carried out within six weeks.
I was forced to pay the £75, because I just want to have peace of mind and make my life easier; I sent my cheque off to the council. The six weeks passed and there was no painting of the bay carried out; therefore I cancelled my request and my cheque was returned to me; I am now on the six month waiting list.
Written to the authorities
I have written to Andrew Turner on this issue several times; who in fairness did do his best. He [Mr Turner] in turn took the issue up with the Department of Transport; a Norman Baker MP – Mr Baker MP suggested that I should contact my local Council Chief Executive.
I did write to the IW Council leader Mr Pugh, who in turn passed on the issue to the Head of IW Highways, a Mr Peter Haywood. All those that I have written to sympathise with my problem, yet none have any power to change things.
Anyone can park in my bay
Now to cap it all, I am informed by the police that anyone can park in this bay, whether they have a Blue Badge or not, and whilst the police can request that the inconsiderate people vacate the marked disabled bay; there is nothing the police can do, they cannot even issue a parking ticket.
The car in effect, could (whilst exaggerating) remain in the disabled bay indefinitely.
I strongly feel that this unfair practice (by a minority) be rectified, and the Government should issue Councils with authority to stop this discrimination against the disabled.
A parking ticket should be issued, What is the point of having a disabled bay re-painted at a cost of £75 when anyone can park in it?
Yours sincerely, Don Smith, Newport
Note from Editor: We got in touch with the council to ask for confirmation about non-blue badge holders using disabled parking bays in residential areas.
We received this response from a spokesperson, “The council only has powers to take enforceable action over bays it runs i.e. in town centres or in council car parks. We don’t have powers to enforce disabled bay parking in residential areas. The police though can issue a ticket to a driver if the vehicle, for example, is deemed to be causing an obstructing or impacting on the disabled user, such as parking across their access or driveway to their home.”
A Hampshire Constabulary spokesman also added: “Police can confirm it received a call on August 5, 2012. We are aware of the concerns raised about the situation, and are reviewing the circumstances of the original call. Police intend to speak with Mr Smith again about his concerns and possible solutions.”