Great Britain

MS sufferer angry at rogue Bradford disabled parking drivers

A WHEELCHAIR and crutches user is angry at drivers who are using the disabled parking bays at supermarkets and hospitals when they aren't entitled.

The man, who lives in the Allerton area and asked not to be named, suffers from multiple sclerosis and says he has had particular problems at the Morrisons store on Girlington Road and Asda on Cemetery Road as well as at St Luke's Hospital and BRI.

He called on able-bodied drivers to respect the rules and not take up places that are needed by the disabled.

"People are parking in disabled bays. It's an absolute menace," he said.

"It's sad really because disabled bays are for disabled people. People don't care at all. People don't have sympathy for the disabled."

He said he had seen numerous incidents of motorists using the bays when they should not or parking across two spaces. He complained to a male driver without a Blue Badge but had just been sworn at and threatened.

He added: "I suffer from depression and it didn't help.

"I took a video of one woman, she walked away and a man was later waiting for me. He knocked on the window and grabbed my hand. He said 'Did you take a video of my wife' and forced me to delete it."

Morrisons, Asda and the Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust underlined that disabled parking bays are for Blue Badge holders only and that action would be taken against anyone who abused the system if they were seen or a complaint was made.

But the man said he had tried reporting cases to staff and they had told him they could not anything about it because the car park was looked after by a third party or staff had been threatened when they went out to deal with it.

He said: "I've never seen anyone patrolling at Morrisons. People don't complain because they're scared.

"Morrisons has always been like that. There needs to be signage and staff need to go out.

"I've also complained to Asda but they say they don't want to put colleagues in danger.

"I have had to cancel an appointment at St Luke's. If the hospital aren't going to take action, then what's the point."

He said he would carry on complaining and encouraged others to do the same.

He said the situation was better at Forster Square Retail Park but even there he sees one or two infringements.

A Morrisons spokesperson said the Girlington Road store had not had any specific complaints about the issue and added: "At least 5% of car parking spaces are dedicated to blue badge holders. Disabled parking spaces should only be used by disabled customers. We trust that customers respect this policy, and we will enforce this where possible."

A spokesperson for Asda said that if any customers spot someone abusing the spaces they are welcome to alert a colleague who will ask the offending driver to move to a different space and £60 fines have been handed out in the past.

"We closely monitor our car parks to ensure these spaces are kept available for the customers who need them the most. We know that the majority of customers respect the rules in our car parks and we would like to reassure Blue Badge holders that there are plenty of spaces made available to them at our Bradford stores.’’

A spokesperson for Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: "The Trust’s parking policy states that ‘Parking bays designated for the disabled may only be used by disabled motorists who display the Government approved Blue Disabled Badge and who comply with the conditions associated with that scheme. These badge holders may also park in Pay & Display bays, without payment or time limit. Blue Disabled Badge holders can only park in the short stay bays for the allotted time displayed.’

“The Trust’s security team frequently patrol the car parks and issue parking charge notices to any motorist who parks in contravention of the Trust’s parking conditions. Communications are also regularly issued within the Trust asking that staff ensure disabled parking bays are made available for those who hold the official Blue Disabled Badge.”

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