Letter: The problems of a disabled parking bay (updated)

Don Smith shares his story about attempts to get the disabled bay outside his house repainted.

We always welcome a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers. This one from Newport resident Don Smith. Ed

Dear Editor,

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.

Great inconvenience
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.

Unfair practice
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.”

Image: Warrenski under CC BY 2.0

Monday, 24th December, 2012 8:19am


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Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.


  1. Yes it’s true, discretionary disabled parking bays are not enforceable. They rely solely on other drivers feeling that they can’t park there. If they choose to do so, then all that can be done is to get the police to ask them if they wouldn’t mind moving.

    Some people put out cones to mark the bay. This reinforces the impression that it’s somehow legally binding and means that if anyone wants to park there, they have to actually get out and move the cones. May be worth a try. You can usually find a few redundant cones loitering about in hedgerows etc!

  2. Sally Perry

    24.Dec.2012 2:16pm

    We asked the council about non-blue badge holders parking in residential disabled bays and have added the response to the article above.

    • wightywight

      24.Dec.2012 3:16pm


      Thanks for the update on this…..
      I am rather confused however….. just who did originally delineate the Parking Bay then …?
      Is this the Local Authority creating the bay then saying they have no powers over it…? Yet they appear to have powers (if this is the case…) to create the bay!
      This does sound a remarkable nonsense somehow…
      You mention “residential areas” …does the same, therefore, apply to disabled bays in town centre high streets…? Curious.


      • I think that “disabled” bays in parking controlled areas are enforceable, e.g. Town centres, but those outside private homes where there are no other parking restrictions are not. The council powers seem to be restricted to painting the lines around the bay, which ordinary mortals are not permitted to do.

    • Don Smith

      25.Dec.2012 2:14am

      Thank you Sal.

      The correspondence that I have sent to you clearly contradicts what the police, council and highways said to VB. The council smudge the issue, [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.]

      It is a residential disabled parking bay that I refer to, not access to a driveway, I do not have a driveway; if I had one I would be parking in it.

      The police can not and will not issue a parking ticket to any person parking in a residential parking disabled bay; displaying a Blue Badge or not.

      I welcome the fact that the police will be contacting me on the issue. Again, they have been to see me several times before, nothing was ever done and nothing has ever changed.

      The answer is simple: if any none Blue Badge holder parks in a disabled bay [Anywhere] they should receive a parking ticket, ordered to move the vehicle or at the very least a caution; simple as that.

      All this talk of bye-laws and planning rules is nothing but a guise for no action being taken. To be blunt: they just do not care.

      • wightywight

        25.Dec.2012 1:14pm

        @don smith:

        I think I have got to the bottom of these things…..!

        It appears thatere ARE two types of Disabled Bays – ones that are regulated by virtue of a Traffic Regulation Order (in force) and ones that are just painted bays!
        The problem is this, as I understand it. To get a Bay marked out and painted as Disabled costs…well, just that. The paint and the men to do it.
        To get a regulated bay a Traffic Regulation Order has to be applied for by the Local Authority and these take both time….and money to achieve.
        Hence, we find that apart from some key town centre Bays (and, of course, off road in Council Car Parks) a Traffic Regulation Order WILL NOT be applied for.
        The question (s) you now ned to ask of the Council – your local Councillor might be a good place to start – is WHY you cannot have a disabled bay sited in your street that is under a Traffic Regulation Order (..and not just some painted lines on the road…!).
        ASk your Councillor what the cost to the Council is for such Bays (if he/she/they refuse to tell you then apply via a FOI request) and use that information to push for a regulated bay.
        The way it is, the bay is not worth the tarmac it is written on….!


  3. One answer is to have double yellow lines painted outside the house. Blue Badge holders can park OK, others cannot without being fined by the Council’s ParkingNazis.

    • While you can park on double yellows with a blue badge its only for 3hrs after that you are liable to get a parking ticket the same as anyone else

    • Funny how you refer to the very people who would be able to do something about this if the law allowed as Nazis. Pretty offensive don’t you think?

      • I agree, it is. It’s easy for people to talk as though if they held the same job they would be a shining example to all & happy to be sacked after disobeying the requirements of their employer. It’s very lazy to call anyone a Nazi who isn’t. If only WW2 had indeed been about double yellow lines & parking bays…..

      • Yep- you are right Jonah! My apologies to to the well-respected council-paid, quota -driven parking attendants- even to the one who charged me £30 just because my BB badge was displayed the wrong way.

  4. prewitt parrot

    24.Dec.2012 3:55pm

    So this involved the Chief Constable the Police the MP,the Department of Transport, another MP, the leader of the Council and the Head of IW Highways(I shudder to think what we must be paying them collectively per year) and it all comes down to the public being reliant on the Council deceiving people into believing that parking in a disabled bay is enforceable. Why, and what are we paying them all for exactly?

  5. Reminds me of a while back when a friend of mine who is a wheelchair using, blue badge holder parked in one of these bays near a house he was visiting. When he came to collect his car, he was accosted by the person that normally used that space, to say that it was reserved specifically for him. My friend’s argument that it didn’t say that anywhere and that he was (obviously) disabled himself was not received with any enthusiasm!

  6. It all goes to show, Don, that today’s generation is of the I’m first, me second and anything left, I’ll have it. You also see able-bodied morons parking in disabled spots on supermarket car parks.

    You might even see a 27 year old driving his 50 year old mother into a parent and child spot. Technically this is correct but is it within the spirit of the idea of child and parent parking?

    Unfortunately, Don, you are living in the selfish age where disabled parking spots are an irrelevance. It’s me me me.

  7. honestjohn

    25.Dec.2012 10:42am

    Neither the Council or police are any longer fit for purpose. These are organisations who are paid from public money to serve the public. They seem to have forgotten this.

  8. @honestjohn “…police are any longer fit for purpose.:

    Really? The difference between the police and the public is that the former run TOWARDS the danger that the public is running AWAY from.

    Nine officers have been killed this year doing their duty.

    • Not according to the resident who lives in the vicinity of the balcony club. Drunks fighting, shouting and urinating in peoples’ gardens. A group of 8 police standing at a safe distance watching the proceedings.

        • Will have to check my e mails to see if I still have it.

        • prewitt parrot

          25.Dec.2012 5:49pm

          I remember reading that too, how about the August riots I recall the police swiftly retreated then

          • Pity Bogies has closed- you could have stood outside there at chucking-out time to see how in-your-face policing was operated from time to time to keep the peace by real officers not “Blunkett’s Plastic Policemen” who are only civvies with a badge.

            But then you would have probably complained about over-aggressive police tactics. :-))

          • prewitt parrot

            25.Dec.2012 9:41pm

            That would be nice for me, perhaps you wouldn’t be so impressed with police over reaction if you were on the receiving end of it. All police are civvies with a badge.

          • @pp ” All police are civvies with a badge. ”

            But “civvies” that have gone through a tough selection process (most candidates fail) followed by 18 weeks training followed, by two years probation before being confirmed in post and then regulated by statute and then risk danger every day.

            Only the military go through such a tough process.

            Would you prefer to replace them with previous shelf-stackers now employed by G4S or a vigilante militia?

          • prewitt parrot

            26.Dec.2012 12:20pm

            Surprising how many lied over Hillsborough then really when you put it like that

          • @PP “Surprising how many lied over Hillsborough then really when you put it like that ”

            Quite right! The ones that did should be charged with “malfeasance in public office” as should the wally who tried to stitch up odious “plebgate” Mitchell.

            Also malfeasance charges for lying should be levied against a certain ex-PM, various peers, cabinet ministers, MPs cheating on their expenses and and those who lie about traffic offences.

  9. 9 officers died doing their dutys last year……..
    More people died playing golf last year…….
    Kinda puts it into perspective does’nt it!!

  10. From what i have read and heard in the news, Cynic, If you charged every officer with malfeasance, you would have over half of the police population in jail by now!

    • @Brian

      I suggest you review the differences between “charged” “tried” and “convicted”.

      Do you believe all you read in the “news”? If “malfeasance in office” could be applied to a certain breed of journalists, how many of those would escape similar charges of lying?

      • The difference is, Cynic, that a police officer is in a position of trust, a journalist is not. You trust a police officer to tell the truth at all times because your freedom could depend on it. You don’t automatically trust a journalist because he is there to sell papers. He may have an ulterior motive. There should be no ulterior motives when it comes to the police.

        • @Brian ” a police officer is in a position of trust, a journalist is not.”

          I agree with you about police.

          However, professional journalists must also be trustworthy or people lose faith in what their media is reporting Whom would you trust more, the Beeb or Fox News?

          • “people lose faith in what their media is reporting”

            The newspaper prorietors who gave us:

            Freddie Starr ate my hampster

            World War 2 bomber found on Moon

            are still in business and read by the public

          • Well!….. if the Sun and National Enquirer are your preferred standards for professional journalism…… :-))

  11. sander2720

    26.Dec.2012 10:04pm

    I had a similar conversation about a disabled parking bay outside a school in totland, designated for dropping off / collecting children who have a blue badge, or for parents / carers or teachers with blue badge to access school. I have never managed to park in it as there is always at least 2 non disabled cars in there. The school can’t do anything about it, so I phoned the council. I was told that all they could do was respond to a request from the school to reprint it. I was told by the man in the parking/ highways dept that they ( the council ) do not put up ANY new disabled parking regulation notices, which are the little blue and white worded signs designating it as a blue badge parking space. This is not just residential, it is ANY disabled space without a prohibition notice. The reason they won’t put up the notices??? Money. It costs too much. So they can paint as any wheelchair symbols as they like all over the place, giving the impression of doing their bit for accessibility, but in reality, there are very few actually designated places. I wonder how many, in reflection of the number of blue badge holders.

  12. Yes it is correct about needing a Traffic Regulation Order(T.R.O.)FOR A DISABLED PARKING BAY TO BE ENFORCEABLE,but the highways dept, of this council,think disabled people don’t concern them,although there are laws that state there should be no discrimination towards the disabled. The highways high paid officials seem to think they are above the law as they keep reducing the number of places where they ,disabled drivers, can legally park,you only have to look at Pyle street in Newport there were two spaces marked out and room for about ten on yellow lines, now there are only three in that road.

  13. I am in the fortunate position to have a designated disabled bay outside my house, which is looking a bit tatty now but I have used it so often and for so long that anyone living in the area knows it is to help me get into my home, and therefore it is left alone. On those occasions it is used by an able bodied person a quick explanation is often all that is needed to move them on. One exception was a lovely man who defended himself with those imortal words “your accent isnt an Island one, and I have lived here all my life,,, so go away (or similar!!)”
    The solution is in the reason we have a designated space,,, I NEED extra room to open the car door wide, position the wheelchair next to me and to clamber accross before taking the shortest route to my front gate! IF some idiot can’t accept ne needs then I will simply park in front of them and exit as usual. My wife (and my carer) will explain that she will move the car once I am in the house and settled… it takes about ten minutes.. and we are very sorry for delaying their onward journey!
    I know it is illegal to box a vehicle into a space, but, by the time they ring the police, explain why they are parked in our bay, and knock on our door (as per police instructions)to request we move etc, they have waited long enough and my wife moves it!
    A disabled space is NOT just a ‘bonus’ for us! It is ‘required’ to allow us to open our doors wide enough, that’s all, that is the only reason and it is not meant to annoy other folk! I guess some people just dont see the need for it, or think it’s a present for being disabled,,, but it is nothing more than an AID! Why there is this ridiculous debate escapes me, if folk are just so ignorant that they prefer to make a disabled persons life more difficult, then surely it is they who need to assess their life and allow US to get on with ours!
    Once again it points to the change in attitudes to us, and I shouldn’t be too suprised! IF I need to get out of my car I will do so in a way that causes no disturbance to others… it is a shame that others cannot do the same!

  14. Steve Laser

    28.Dec.2012 11:19am

    I think its like many things in life today, its easy for those that dont really need badges and parking bays to get them so the real needy people suffer.
    I have seen many times a “disabled person” shove the badge in the window and walk off down the road at speed whilst parking on double yellow lines and then walk on to the rocky beach with a dog.
    I have also seen really disabled people get out of a car and would be in my opinion total unable to react at speed to a situation that might happen in normal modern day driving due to their severe disability.
    So perhaps bays are regarded by some as a perk for a few that dont deseve them and if you know the person that has one is a real user then I am sure the bay is respected by most. But we have a large number of people, not just young folk, that dont care about any one but themselves so that would not apply.

  15. @Steve Laser “…its easy for those that dont really need badges and parking bays to get them so the real needy people suffer”

    Not that easy! I am permanently disabled and unable to walk very far due to pain. Despite my disability and the pain levels associated with it being certified by my GP and the hospital’s orthopaedic consultant,it still took me two and a half years to get a Blue Badge!

    Now the BB is critical to my quality of life.

    So if you see people abusing the Blue Badge privilege, note the vehicle’s registration number (and the Blue Badge number if possible) and report it to IWC via blue.badge@iow.gov.uk

  16. Steve Laser

    28.Dec.2012 12:24pm

    I understand its harder now to get one than it once was but I can remember a fellow worker that had a leg problem 7 years ago got one very easy in those days, and still has it. This guy looks as fit as me and can walk to the pub most days without much problem. I am not saying they have not tightened up in the last few years but that is probably due to the number of people that applied and got them over the last 10 years or so, you can only have so many reserved spaces in a road.
    An elderly population with such a bad public transport system, will encourage those that can still drive to keep a car. A free bus pass is no good if you are miles from a bus stop that has a regular service even if you are a fit 80 year old.

  17. Island Monkey

    28.Dec.2012 12:51pm

    I agree – the abuse of ‘disabled’ badges and parking facilities by those who have somehow convinced the authorities that they really need one is the root problem here.

    Many badge holders have real disabilities – but people also believe a significant number are not disabled enough. I think they may also believe a little extra walking could be beneficial to the health of these dodgy often overweight badge holders?

  18. What is it that makes folk think that a BB (Blue Badge) is only for the use of those who cannot walk??? Walking is not related to disability in the way many think,, A disability, and BB, can be given for many reasons, from severe heart problems to cancer etc which dont show up when a person walks but makes the actual act of walking dangerous or liable to exacerbate an existing problemOn a good day with my body stuffed full of my Fentanyl, pregabalin and morphine I can indeed walk a little way, but couldn’t drive or enter/exit a car with ease, AND I will pay for it with massive pain when I relax again, OR when my meds wear off a little and I am left in desperate agony,,,, so am I fiddling my BB by my carer driving me as close to a shop as possible?
    I have said it before, but it bears repeating that unless you have access to my medical records, or know my medical problems intimately you have absolutely no right to accuse me (or anyone else) of fraud, SO why do most people ‘know’ someone who is fiddling the BB but in truth DONT ‘know’ anything of the sort? Rumour and gossip dont come into a diagnosis, so perhaps you could actually ASK a person about his/her disability OR trust the same doctors who you allow to treat and cure YOU and your family!!!
    IF you suspect genuine fraud then feel free to report the person AND perhaps his/her GP, specialist, surgeon etc etc because it takes medical advice to obtain a BB, NOT just patient input.
    OK,,, spleen vented!

    • Hear hear davimel, well said.

      You might be forgiven for thinking that great swathes of the general public are expertly medically qualified, by the numbers who think they can divine the details of someone’s health just be looking at them. And really, those details are private, & not to be regarded as something having to be produced to passersby, to justify having a BB.

    • Davimel is quite right!

      All disabilities are not necessarily visible. For example, a friend- no longer with us- had a terminal brain cancer but was often challenged for her use of a BB.

      However, if you are suspicious then report it to the people who do have the medical records justifying the BB. They will dismiss the challenge if it is not valid without causing embarrassment to BB holder.

  19. Steve Laser

    28.Dec.2012 3:15pm

    Yes it is easy to tell those that really need a badge and those that dont. Do they do yearly checks to see if the need is still present?. I have no problem with those that are in real need of a space and badge and they should keep them. But what really makes my Tax-payers blood boil is when you see a large Mobility paid, people carrier full of over-weight kids and adults pull up in a Disabled space at Tesco, Morrison etc and they all fall out and come back an hour later with a trolley full of Junk food, paid for by my hard earned tax.
    You are so right a bit of walking would be in order, burn the calories and get fit find a job and give the badge back.

    • Sounds as though you are getting unnecessarily worked up about people you know nothing about, Steve Laser. Good luck with that!

      • Steve Laser

        28.Dec.2012 4:36pm

        The problem is on such a small Island many of us do “know” a lot about many people that “pull the wool” but their days are numbered. As I said I have no problem with the needy but the Holiday is over for those that like a free ride every trip just because they can act.

    • wightywight

      28.Dec.2012 4:59pm

      @steve laser:

      Maybe in your world it’s “easy to tell those that need a badge…..”
      And in some cases you might well be right….since some disabilities are fairly obvious to see. Many disabilities are not, certainly not from a first pass view either.
      The second thing is that the badge is for use WITH the disabled person but not necessarily solely BY that person.
      Hence, you may have carers, family members, friends or whoever using the badge whilst collecting, delivering the disabled person, waiting for the disabled person and much more.
      Are badges used and abused….I’d say there is a small percentage of the whole scheme that might find the badges being abused from time to time. Getting a badge is no easy ride, I can assure you and the way badges issued you can rest assured that the system is pretty much a good working system for the scheme.
      This subjective observational anecdotal evidence does nothing to address the issue of the OP in this thread and nothing towards the overall scheme. Quite how you expand this into shopping habits and social situation says a lot more about your likely views on these matters than real hard evidence on a wide basis for the scheme.
      As if walking has much to do with long term illness and disability….indeed, of course, obesity in itself can be a medical illness.. go check out metabolisms, Hypothyroidism, Cushings syndrome….even clinical depression.
      But clealry , in your world, it’s all about tax payers money, no jobs, overweight non walkers that apply and get Blue Badges….then abuse them. You might need a bit of a reality check here…..


  20. Steve Laser

    28.Dec.2012 5:22pm

    No its not “my World” its “Our World” and it is all about Tax payers money, no jobs and Obesity. Thats the mess we are all in and I have done the reality check my eyes are open and the picture is not good and all the smoke and mirrors will not change the fact that times are changing!

    • wightywight

      28.Dec.2012 7:14pm

      @steve laser:
      Oh dear….. is it “all about tax payers money, no jobs and obesity…..”?

      ..You wanna blame a Blue Badge scheme which, for the most part is a success and deserving for those with disability, for …”the mess we are all in”…?
      It gets even more surreal….
      As I said, your comments show more about your attitudes than they do about addressing the real issue…
      This posting started by A disabled man who was *awarded* a bay outside his home. Not for him personally, or exclusively, to use but for Blue Badge holders. Since the bay isn’t the subject of a TRO it is not worth the tarmac it is printed on…..yet still gets abused by non blue badge holders. And somewhere in all of this you want to announce anecdotal *evidence* that *some* people are abusing the whole blue badge system because you have seen people carriers with overweight kids alighting into a supermarket where they purchase junk foods… paid for by YOU (or your “hard earned Tax” at least..)…!

      are you on drugs…?


    • Quite right Steve, Not only are the disabled a nuisance but what about dwarfs? They are responsible for the expense of low-fitting urinals in gents’ toilets. If they had any decency, they would carry a stool with them to stand on and save taxpayers’ money!

      And don’t get me started on the mentally ill. They should pull themselves together and sort themselves out eh Steve? We can’t have taxpayers’ money being used to shove pills down their throats. They should get a life, right Steve?

      For the sane amongst us one needs to humour Steve as he might be dangerous. Best policy is to agree with him.

  21. The world has not changed as dramatically as you think.

    The elite are still in power and are doing everything to maintain the status quo: unemployment will continue rising to maintain profit dividends in private pockets: public assets will continue to be transferred in private hands at a pittance: all three major political parties are centre-right with little difference between their policies: those in power are professional politicians with little experience outside the Westminster bubble and concentrate on feathering their own nests. reincarnated Victorian and Edwardian bourgeoisie and upper-classes would feel completely at home in today’s world.

    Is a revolution likely to happen? No As in Nero’s time those in power divert the discontented with wars overseas and “bread-an-circuses” at home.

    If a revolution DID happen, would it change anything? No. The old joke goes: “Comes the Revolution and we will all smoke cigars!” “But I don’t like cigars!” “You will smoke what you are effing well told!” :-))

    The outlook is bleak.

  22. It has to be said that even though I completely rebuke Steve Lasers comments, I am afraid that his somewhat bewildering opinions are supported by many others these days.
    Like others my gander is raised to the point of apoplexy and I have to wonder why I soddin bother sometimes!

  23. Don Smith

    9.Jan.2013 12:43am

    Moaning now – Wait until the Bulgarians and Romanians arrive later this year. Pity the unemployed, and our countries welfare system.

  24. Don Smith

    27.Jan.2013 7:44pm

    Sal wrote 24th. Dec 2012:

    “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.”

    I wait and wait – Not even a phone call, a traffic warden to hear my concerns; ah well! No doubt they will call when I’m up Mount-Joy:-) I did write to the PM, no news as yet.

    I wonder if the Queen would assist, I’ll drop her a line;
    I do not jest.

    • Don’t worry about the police getting in touch,i was just going out to do some shopping when i noticed some persons in my backyard with what looked like a hand gun,so i phoned the police they said ‘wait there don’t go out, we will be with you within five minutes’,that was TEN years ago,i’m still waiting.So Don you won’t have too long to wait.

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