Sunday, 7 September 2008
I have a blue badge in my car. For those that are unfamiliar with the scheme, it’s a badge available for those who experience extreme discomfort when walking more than 100 yards or have other specific reasons for needing to be close to their car, giving us the right to park in specially allocated spaces and on yellow lines.
When I first received my badge I was really thrilled. At last I’d be able to park closer to the shops in town, enabling me to get about easier. Unfortunately it didn’t take long before I realised that it doesn’t always work that way.
The first thing I noticed was that there never appeared to be enough disabled parking spaces available. I’d often have to drive around town several times, spewing unnecessary carbon into the air, before I eventually either found one or gave up and went home. I couldn’t help wondering why so many taken. it’s the council’s job to issue the badges so it would stand to reason that they’d have a general idea of how many spaces would be needed. The answer, my friends, lies in the selfishness of the fit and healthy.
Time and time again I’ve been unable to use the disabled parking areas because of spaces being occupied by cars that weren’t displaying a blue badge. I’ve even seen perfectly fit people leap from cars that they’ve parked in disabled spaces and practically run into a shop, using the space as convenient parking rather than taking the trouble to walk a few hundred yards extra.
Not only are those people stopping those of us who can’t walk far from shopping comfortably, disabled spaces are generally wider than the average parking bay, making entering and exiting a vehicle far easier. I wonder whether they’ve ever tried getting out of car and into a wheelchair when there’s about a 12 inch (or less) gap between cars! Even getting crutches sorted out is pretty close to impossible without risking a scratch on the neighbouring car.
What’s more, there never seems to be a traffic warden around when the spaces are taken by non-badge holders. No, they’re always too busy at the main car-parks, looking for those who have parked for a few minutes longer than they’ve paid for!
Why oh why are there so many selfish drivers around? Are people really so lazy that they’d rather stop the disabled from going about their business in order to go about their own in as few steps as possible?
Labels: Odds and Sods