Three quarters of disabled motorists say finding suitable parking is difficult

Published 09 November 2020

Lazy motorists are continuing to flout rules around disabled parking bays according to an annual survey by Disabled Motoring UK.

More than 86 per cent of participants surveyed by the organisation said that they found disabled parking bays were either ‘often’ or 'very often’ abused.

Traditionally, DMUK's Baywatch Campaign asks the public to survey supermarket car parks for levels of disabled parking abuse.

However, they were unable to undertake this type of campaign in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the charity asked members of the public to complete a survey on their general parking experiences.

In total, 777 people completed the DMUK survey, with more than half of respondents saying they found it difficult to park at supermarkets. Alarmingly, around 95 per cent of participants did not think that local authorities were doing enough to tackle abuse - such as bays being occupied by motorists not displaying a blue badge.

More than half of those surveyed answered no when they were asked if they ever see signs of Blue Badge enforcement at supermarkets. A shocking 86 per cent said supermarket staff had not taken action when they reported the misuse of the parking space.

When it came to everyday parking outside of supermarkets, three in four motorists surveyed said that finding suitable disabled parking was either ‘difficult’ or ‘very difficult’.

"Disabled people are being disadvantaged and prevented from living independent lives because of the state of the nation’s disabled parking provision and enforcement," said a DMUK spokesperson. "These statistics should be the wake up call that the parking industry needs to once and for all provide adequate parking provision to disabled motorists and make sure it is enforced correctly."

To help DMUK to continue campaigning on the issue of disabled parking abuse, the charity has a fundraising initiative called the Baywatch Appeal. This will help raise vital funds to keep advocating the need for proper management of disabled parking bays.

The Baywatch Campaign is sponsored by the British Parking Association and BBFI Public Sector Investigations.

Comments    on 9 November 2020

In my locality, the council have pedestrianised the high street and removed 12 disabled parking bays. The only saving grace is that the parking is free for blue badge holders but all the other local towns now charge, so it won't be long until we suffer a shortage of disabled spaces and to pay for it!
Colin H

Bernard46    on 9 November 2020

If there is a genuine problem here i think it should be looked at in its entirety. I'm not aware of many people who go out of their way to make life difficult for the disabled, however we do have a very anti-car attitude in much of government and especially local government, some of which has been highlighted in the recent virus led campaigns to reduce levels of traffic even further.
Such an attitude of mind inevitably leads to a reduction in parking spaces overall. That in turn leads desperate people to do things that they would not otherwise do, like for example the attitude that says "I'm only there for a minute and there was no other space available".
What we really need to address this problem, assuming unbiased figures confirm its existence, is for local government to make more parking space available for everyone, not just less for some.
It is not unusual to go to supermarkets, local car parks etc and find many disabled spaces empty - we also need to look very carefully at the number of people who are entitled to blue badges and ensure they are only issued to those in genuine need.

TCCisTCC    on 9 November 2020

I went to post a letter last week at a local SPAR shop with a car park because I was sure I'd be able to park in one of the two disabled spaces. That would enable me to open my car door wide enough to get out and back in.

When I arrived a car was parking straddling the two disabled spaces perfectly. A young lady got out and went into the shop leaving her family in the car. I fully appreciate that all disabilities are not visible but no Blue Badge was presented.

Taking both disabled spaces is beyond selfish in any case. I didn't have my phone with me to take a photo to report it (which p***ed me off in itself).

If you see people parking like that, or parking on pavements it is your duty to report it. I would have posted the photo with the hashtag "#YPLAC" which stands for You Park Like A Charlie" I don't think.

conman    on 10 November 2020

What do you expect when the Government has doubled the amount of Blue Badges available without doubling the spaces.
So now people with no visible signs of disability can use them. I personally think only people with physical disabilities should be issued with them. EG. wheelchair users, people that have difficulty in walking etc. A recent visit to the hospital with my invalided mother despite there being spaces set aside for Blue Badge holders they were all full, so I had to park at the back of the car park which made it virtually impossible to get my mother in her wheelchair. Whilst passing the occupied Blue spaces a couple walked passed us ( with no visible signs of any disability) and drove off in their car, it had a Blue Badge, my mother said it did not seem fair.

Also all Blue parking spaces whether in a carpark or on the road should be subject to the law. All supermarkets have to do is sign up to it.

If they started fining culprits that park there illegally, then things will change but as usual no Police.

Captain-Cretin    on 14 November 2020

The number of cars abusing disabled bays in Malvern appears to have dropped slightly, but the numbers of blatant misuse has increased, huge, new SUVs, giant, double cab pickups and even an Ambulance stopping to buy snacks blocking the ONLY disabled space in one area; I also often see Post Office vans blocking that one, as it is right outside the sub-post office.

NONE of the supermarkets do anything about it; one promised a parking enforcement company would take action - but nothing has happened in the 18 months since they installed their cameras.

hissingsid    on 14 November 2020

As others have said, lack of enforcement is the problem. The supermarkets are not interested and the Police have other priorities, especially during the lockdown. It is no use appealing to the better nature of those who flout the rules, they don't have one.

Much as I sympathise with the mentally disabled, I think that extending the Blue badge scheme to include them was asking for trouble. A physically fit but mentally disabled person using a disabled space runs the risk of being challenged or even verbally abused, which will not improve their mental health.

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