Saturday, December 08, 2007

Blue badge rant

Regular readers will know that my wife has had some major health problems. This means that if we go out shopping she has to use a wheelchairs. As a consequence, she has a blue disabled parking badge. The main problem with this is that all the disabled spaces in the car parks are often full.

The reason we need a disabled space is not to do with closeness to the shops (though I like that when I'm pushing the chair!), it is all about the width of the space, allowing the car door to open fully, and the wheelchair to fit easily between cars.

On Wednesday we had a trip to the Trafford Centre. We found a disabled space, next to the lift, on the end of a row, so cars alongside my wife's door weren't an issue anyway. We went off and did our shopping (credit card is hurting now) and came back about three hours later.

Parked next to our car, not in a proper space but in the roadway at the end of the row, parked so close that I would be concerned getting in myself without banging the door, was another car. A car with a disabled badge. A car with a notice in the passenger door requesting people not to park to close because they used a wheelchair! How can somebody who is a wheelchair user themselves park so as to so badly inconvenience another disabled person? There appears to be a small number of disabled badge holders that give the rest a bad name. They use their parking privileges to "abandon" their cars wherever is most convenient without any thought to other road users or pedestrians, and other people won't say anything for fear of being thought uncaring.

Unfortunately I didn't have a pen on me, or there would have been a very snotty note left on their windscreen. We also reported them to the centre staff, but I suspect nothing would be done.