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..to think that I ought to be able to park for nothing (with DS's blue badge) in a normal space if all the disabled spaces are used up?

(40 Posts)
JarOfHearts Fri 09-Sep-11 18:48:25

At a hospital as well!

I got a parking ticket.. which I disputed as (admittedly) I had not read the signs describing the new rules saying that EVERYONE needed to buy a ticket if using a normal space.

The appeal has not been upheld (due to me "ignoring" the new rules.) I have to pay the fine. But they have "kindly" given me an extra week to come up with the money!

DS has loads of appointments at the hospital for his various complex needs. He is a wheelchair user with challenging violent behaviour. I am extremely grateful for our blue badge which means that parking and getting him out the of the car and into his chair (trigger points for violence) is quicker and slightly less problematic than it would be otherwise.

What about the people with serious mobility problems? They expect them to park (miles away sometimes; it's a huge busy car park with a tiny percentage of disabled space), struggle to a machine, buy a ticket, struggle back to their car etc etc. Blue badges EXIST to prevent all this surely!

The council accept that blue badger users can park for free is ordinary spaces in their car parks. Why would the NHS, of all people, decide otherwise! And their tickets are horribly expensive compared to council ones too.

This is bloody unreasonable surely!

ChristinedePizan Fri 09-Sep-11 18:51:14

YANBU at all sad Can you write to the trust? Unfortunately while trusts are delivering NHS care, many of them are run by quangos.

troisgarcons Fri 09-Sep-11 18:52:58

Mp, local paper etc etc - publicise it.

TBH I have never heard of a private or public car park that charges for blue badge users - but I await to be corrected accordingly.

madhairday Fri 09-Sep-11 18:54:10

YANBU. This seems to be the case in most hospitals unfortunately. They have not nearly enough disabled bays and then charge those with blue badges not fortunate enough to get one. It's shocking. You could write to the trust but I'm unconvinced it would do any good. You could write to your local rag possibly?

JarOfHearts Fri 09-Sep-11 18:54:35

Well you have now Trois grin This is in Canterbury at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital.

saintlyjimjams Fri 09-Sep-11 18:57:07

Local paper (they'll love it of you're happy to be photographed- ring the news desk) MP and hospital trust. We have a blue badge and it's very rare I can get a disabled space at the local hospital.

ThoseArentSpiritFingers Fri 09-Sep-11 18:57:40

I didn't realise that blue badge holders didn't pay for car parks.

Not that I'm against it or anything, it actually sounds sensible for the hassle of getting a ticket machine, which are always in the most akward place possible.... Etc

Bu what happens when you are driving out of a barrier car park? Like the type that takes your ticket and then automatically opens?

aliceliddell Fri 09-Sep-11 18:58:03

Jar this is surely the most bloody ridiculous situation I have ever heard of! Don't they realise what the BB is for? <palm/forehead> Go for trois plan, should work. But, trois we have such car parks here. deep joy.

WhoremoaneeGrainger Fri 09-Sep-11 19:00:52

Then you have to pay Riding, just like everyone else does.

I too have a blue badge, and where i can i just park in a non-disabled bay if im having one of my good days (though these are getting rarer).

OP Is your vehicle tax exempt? That is what usually means you can park in any space, disabled or otherwise, for free?

My local hospital has a scheme where you let them know your registration, and they will authorise you ticket (multi-story) and you dont have to pay.

JarOfHearts Fri 09-Sep-11 19:04:30

Riding, you take your badge (and your disabled person who is depicted on it) to a desk usually near main reception and they do something to it (very technical I sure just like my description) and then when you shove it in the hole, the barrier lifts.

Nothing like this at the K&C.. it's just the standard but extortionate few and far between tickets machines selling obscenely expensive tickets.

To be honest, I've always had an issue with hospital ticket machines even before I was a blue badger holder for DS. Perhaps I am an unrealistic idealist, but it seems to me that so many people are at hospitals for reasons which, to me, makes paying to park a further kick in the teeth. Eg arriving for your chemo... pay to park... Arrive to sit beside your dying father day after day (me in March, same bloody hospital).. pay to park. And then for them to profit from their lack of disabled spaces.,, hmmm..

JarOfHearts Fri 09-Sep-11 19:06:35

Not tax exempt no.. who is? Wheelchair adapted vehicles? Not at that place yet.. still managing to cram DS and his banged-up old chair into a bog standard Zafira but it's getting harder.

LadyOfTheManor Fri 09-Sep-11 19:07:18

It isn't always an NHS decision.

Our local hospital doesn't charge for parking at all...and that particular car park is run by NCP (sp?)

lou33 Fri 09-Sep-11 19:18:44

Some car parks are free even if you dont use a disabled spot, my local town ones are, but there isnt much point in parking in a non disabled bay if i have to use the badg, as there isnt enough room to open the doors enough to get ds2 out and into his wheelchair.

Our hospital has always been a nightmare for disabled parking, but until recently they would allow parking on the double yellows as long as it was not causing an obstruction and you displayed the badge. Now they have disallowed it so i have to drive round and round until one becomes free, and even though they have added extra bays there still doesnt seem to be enough. They also increased the non disabled parking charges massively, and you have to pay on entry, which means you have to try and guess how long you might be. You have to punch in the number of the bay you are parked in too, and if you overstay there is a big penalty.

Blue badges may in theory get you more places to park, but ime it is still usually a struggle to find anywhere to do so (especially if it is rainy when they seem to get taken up by non badge holders as well)

Dawndonna Fri 09-Sep-11 19:19:58

There are lots of car parks in Norfolk and Suffolk that charge even if you are a blue badge holder.

lou33 Fri 09-Sep-11 19:23:36

If i use the multi story car parks in Woking badge holders pay the same as anyone else, but otoh they are one of the few places i usually find a disabled bay empty.

azazello Fri 09-Sep-11 19:27:49

Our local hospitals (John Radcliffe and Churchill) charge for both blue badge and normal spaces at all times. At least you now pay when you've finished your appointment so don't have to guess how long it is going to take your relative to die (my grandma - 7 years ago. Mum wasn't with her as she had to put more money in the machine).

Its a bugger if you're at A&E until 2am and don't have any change as you hadn't planned to spend Friday night at the hospital...

azazello Fri 09-Sep-11 19:28:36

Meant to add - quite a few of the public car parks round here also make you pay for parking with a blue badge.

Bastards.

KinkyDorito Fri 09-Sep-11 19:33:51

I've had to pay to park in disabled bays in many public car parks and I don't have a problem with that.

I agree the hospital rule is really annoying though; it is the same at our local hospital. They need to make their minds up. Disabled drivers should either be exempt or not, but not have different rules depending on whether you've been lucky enough to get a disabled bay, which, lets face it, are usually the first filled at hospital. I think it's really poor TBH. HOWEVER, I am also surprised you don't have some kind of pass from the clinic or ward that your son attends? We get them for DD.

Kladdkaka Fri 09-Sep-11 19:44:29

I don't mind paying so long as the machines are well located and accessible. The ones at the local shopping centre are the sort you stick the card in and pay on your way back. Not a problem. The one at the local airport is in the middle of the ginormous carpark so a disabled person ends up having to walk further than an able bodied person in order to get the their ticket, plus there are usually cars parked in all the spaces around it which are too close to each other for a wheelchair/walking frame to squeeze through to get to the machine.

JarOfHearts Fri 09-Sep-11 20:27:45

I have just emailed the following to a Canterbury newspaper.

Hi

I was wondering if you would be interested in running a piece on the rules that state that disabled blue badge holders must buy a ticket if they are forced to use an ordinary parking space.

Unaware of the rules that changed in 2006 stating the above, I recently parked in an ordinary space when attending a Complex Neuro-disability appointment for my 11 year old disabled son (R) at the Kent and Canterbury hospital. This is one of many such appointments I regularly attend with him.

There are nowhere near enough disabled spaces at the K&C but unlike the council, who will allow Blue Badge holders to park in any available space without charging them, this NHS car park employs its own parking wardens who patrol the car parks giving tickets to disabled drivers who have been forced, by lack of provision, to use a normal space.

They clearly expect people with seriously compromised mobility, to park wherever they can (this could be a long way from the part of the hospital they need to be in), make their way to one of the widely spaced ticket machines, pay the fee (much higher than council car parking fees) and take it all the way back to their car before making their way back to eg. outpatients.

My son has a cerebral palsy-type condition casued by a chromosome deletion and has many complex needs including violent challenging behaviour. He attends (the) (special) school just down the road from the hospital. I use his blue badge all the time to make the business of parking and getting him out of the car and into his wheelchair (a trigger point for aggression for him) a little bit less problematic than it would be otherwise. For the NHS of all people, to refuse to recognise why we need these concessions is really quite disgusting.

On the occasion above, I returned to our car after the appointment to find I'd got a parking ticket. I disputed it, sending photo copies of my son's blue badge which had been clearly on display on the dash board. (This was on the 25th Aug). This week I got a response on NHS headed notepaper from Nick Doe, Parking Services Manager, based at the QEQM Hospital in Margate, telling me my appeal has not been upheld because the "notice was correctly issued" being as I was "parked in a pay and display area without displaying a valid ticket". It then gave a description of the rules that have been in place since 2006 and suggested I familiarise myself with the Trust's website and in particular a section called "How To Access Our Hospitals".

The letter then stated that I have until the 20th September to pay my £15 fine or else it will be passed to a debt recovery company acting for the Trust.

Well perhaps Mr Nick Doe, who obviously will know the How To Access Our Hospitals article by heart, would like to take my son (R) to an appointment during a busy weekday afternoon,. He obviously will not be chronically tired and sleep deprived from the never-ending effects of coping with his child's complex needs nor will he have needed to juggle his working hours yet again in order to get to the appointment. So perhaps he will handle it better than me when he finds that once again there are no disabled spaces left, ANYWHERE in ANY of the K&C car parks that patients and visitors are allowed to use at this hospital. It would be interesting to see how he copes parking miles away from the Children Assessment Centre, getting the wheelchair out of the car in a normal space, trying not to scratch the car parked closely in the next space, getting scratched, bitten and clobbered over the head by (R) during the transfer and then having to go and find a ticket machine with (R) violently protesting all the way, paying a (not small) sum to park, after perhaps having to queue, then retracing his steps with (R) still protesting, place the ticket, and STILL get to the (much needed) appointment on time! I would be very very interested to see how efficiently Mr Nick Doe achieved this!

Given the opportunity, I would like to say to Mr Doe that Blue Badges exist for a reason. We have them because we have fulfilled a criteria and these NHS rules pay no heed to them whatsoever. WHY? I would very much like this situation to be addressed and attend to bring it as much attention as possible until it is.

If you are interested in this or need more info, or a photo of (R) please don't hesitate to contact me. My mob no is (supplied) but I am more easily contactable by email during my working week. We live in (nearly town), by the way.

Sincerely

JarOfHearts

JarOfHearts Fri 09-Sep-11 20:29:28

To be honest, I do mind paying because I am always at the hospital with R.. it would cost a small fortune I don't have to have to pay every time at every appointment. That's not to say that I am not terribly grateful for the concessions that Blue Badges mostly afford us..

SauvignonBlanche Fri 09-Sep-11 20:30:32

My hospital charges Blue badge holders too but this is signed.

tiredgranny Fri 09-Sep-11 20:31:41

our fantastic new build hospital is charging blue badge holders mind you they have to find the rent some how twh@pembury

Andrewofgg Fri 09-Sep-11 20:39:34

YANBU. Bloody outrageous.

JarOfHearts Fri 09-Sep-11 20:45:06

By the way it does seem to actually be the NHS Trust that is responsible as the letter I received refusing my appeal clearly states that the matter will be passed onto a Debt Agency "acting on behalf of the Trust in the recovery of outstanding charges"

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