Blue badge parking plea
A woman outraged after her disabled mum was given a parking ticket has set up an online petition calling for the return of disabled parking bays next to Morecambe '¨Post Office.
Andrea Sutton, 47, head of science at Ripley St Thomas C of E Academy, said her mum was in tears when she was given a parking ticket after picking up a Christmas present for her grandchild from the Market Street post office.
Andrea said: “My mum Joyce Sutton, who is 72, has severe arthritis in her bones and can only walk for a step or two. She does all of her shopping online so she had gone to pick a parcel up.
“She hadn’t noticed it was a taxi rank because it always used to be disabled bays, and her front wheels were on the end of the taxi rank.
“When she came back there was a warden waiting for her who said it was obviously a taxi rank and gave her a ticket.
“She was very upset but paid the £35 ticket because she wanted it out of the way straight away. I was just outraged. He told her she could park in the nearest car park or on Vic toria Street .
“I think it’s absolutely shameful and another knock against someone’s independence.
“That’s why I set up a petition calling for Lancaster City Council to return the disabled parking bay to the parcel collection depot.
“It would be good to get 1000 signatures, so far there are 244 signatures. All it would take is for the council to reinstate a couple of disabled parking bays on the taxi rank.
“The situation now means people with a disability who are unable to walk far can no longer collect their own parcel.”
Elaine Singleton from Lancaster said: “I am unable to walk more than a few metres due to multiple sclerosis and the disabled parking spaces by the post office were essential to me.
“The disabled bays on the car park next to the Arndale Centre are too far away for me to manage to walk to the shops.
“It is a distance that an able bodied person would not even notice but to those of us living with disabilities it is just another burden that we don’t need.
“I urge the council to replace the bays by the post office.” Coun Janice Hanson, Cabinet member with responsibility for regeneration, said: “We’ve received quite a number of positive comments from the public about the Connecting Victoria Street project, with people congratulating us on the standard of the work and how it has made this area much more pedestrian friendly.
“Although we’ve not been able to include disabled parking on Market Street, disabled spaces for a minimum of three cars are provided at the top of Victoria Street. These provide parking as close, if not closer, to the main entrance of the Post Office for those making short trips to pick up parcels.
“ Additional disabled spaces have also been provided in the library car park.”
A spokesman for Lancaster City Council said: “While there is no scope to introduce further disabled spaces on Market Street, we will continue to monitor the situation.
“If there is significant demand for additional disabled spaces in this area, the council may be able to identify opportunities for additional spaces whilst carrying out further improvement works in the town centre.
“Drivers displaying a valid Blue Badge can park in these and all standard spaces in city council car parks for free and for an unlimited period.”
Sign the petition at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/disabled-parking-near-to-morecambe-post-office.