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To be fuming about this

(100 Posts)
elliejjtiny Fri 18-Dec-15 19:34:58

I'll probably be flamed for this but here goes anyway ...

We have 5 DC. 2 have blue badges, 1 of them has a disabled bus pass. 1 other child has autism.

This week our local council has decided to start charging blue badge holders to park in the council run car parks from April next year. Also the local buses are planning on stopping people using their bus passes between 9 and 9:30am and scrapping the free companion thing.

I'm not happy (and neither is one of the councillors who also has a blue badge and wasn't even allowed to vote because he was biased). I know cuts have to come from somewhere and we're all in this together etc. But I still want to shout "it's not fair".

I won't bore you with our sob story but I'll just say that I spent a long time getting DS2 and DS4 their blue badges and DS2 his bus pass (lots of paperwork, phonecalls etc involved, and with DS4 we had to appeal as well). Now it feels like my efforts have been partly wasted. I have to fight for everything my boys get because of their disabilities and I'm just sick of it.

ScarlettDarling Fri 18-Dec-15 19:40:33

I certainly won't flame you but I honestly don't know why blue badge holders should be allowed to park for free?

I get that blue badge holders are entitled to larger, accessible spaces, closer to entrances etc...but why shouldn't you have to pay for your parking?

MarkRuffaloCrumble Fri 18-Dec-15 19:42:13

I was about to say what Scarlett said, I understand e need for larger spaces closer to the not for it to be free. Admittedly if you didn't need the badge you could theoretically walk to the shops instead of driving, but in all honesty would you?

MarkRuffaloCrumble Fri 18-Dec-15 19:43:00

Sorry, stupid iPad missed half my words!

I understand the need for larger spaces closer to the doors, but not the need for it to be free.

chumbler Fri 18-Dec-15 19:43:46

Why shouldn't they park for free? I guess walking to and from the machine could make a trip even more difficult, plus shouldn't we encourage disabled people to go out and use facilities in the community? They are a minority too so surely not much extra money will be made (especially as I think this will discourage some from going out at all).

Not being able to use the bus pass sounds like discrimination to me.

Petition?

JaceLancs Fri 18-Dec-15 19:45:34

I am disabled but do not currently have a blue badge and also do not understand why parking should be free isn't that positive discrimination?

ExploraDora Fri 18-Dec-15 19:45:47

I thought the free parking was because disabled people may take longer to do everyday tasks and may be less able to access free/cheaper modes of transport, like walking or the bus?

EmilyPunkhurst Fri 18-Dec-15 19:45:55

I'm not going to flame you either. I have a child family member who is disabled and I see how hard his mum has to fight for absolutely everything, and how exhausted she is by it all. It saps strength that she would be able to use caring for him.

So flowers for you.

ExploraDora Fri 18-Dec-15 19:46:58

Saying that, I don't know if parking should be free. Cuts are being made everywhere - not sure if parking should be a protected area, even for disabled people.

kslatts Fri 18-Dec-15 19:49:05

I think blue badge holders should park for free. Often they have to take the car because their disability means they are unable to walk.

Gazelda Fri 18-Dec-15 19:49:15

I'm shocked at the proposed disabled bus pass changes. As another poster said, isn't that discriminatory?

Arfarfanarf Fri 18-Dec-15 19:49:19

It's because of an understanding that if you have very reduced mobility, your options are normally limited.

If you don't have any mobility issues, you can walk. You can park further away and benefit from free parking. You can hop on a bus whereas depending on your specific needs, that may not be possible. You may need help which may or may not be available.

All these things and more are why blue badge parking is quite often free. It is a small hey, we know that you have fewer choices and so park here, just to make that small difference that may well be the difference between you getting out of the house and not. Other people may often have a choice to reduce or avoid costs and that option may well not be available to you due to your disability.

Hurr1cane Fri 18-Dec-15 19:49:45

My DS has a badge and I don't mind paying for parking as long as I manage to get close

hedgehogsdontbite Fri 18-Dec-15 19:50:39

I get that blue badge holders are entitled to larger, accessible spaces, closer to entrances etc...but why shouldn't you have to pay for your parking?

For a whole host of reasons including:

- Not being able to access cheaper public transport
- Not having the option of walking in
- Needing longer to do the same as an able person
- Needing to make multiple trips where an able person just makes 1
- Not being able to access the parking meters

MissFitt68 Fri 18-Dec-15 19:53:20

But between 9 and 9.30 won't your child be in school and not even using the bus at that time?

MissFitt68 Fri 18-Dec-15 19:54:30

Why are the parking meters not easy to access?

elliejjtiny Fri 18-Dec-15 19:56:26

Going to talk to the councillor who also has a blue badge about it to see if we can organise something.

Blue badge holders get to park for free in council car parks (not in hospital car parks ironically but don't get me started on that.

1) Most blue badge holders don't have the option of parking further away (somewhere free) and walking.

2) blue badge holders can park for free on double yellows so this encourages them to use car parks where possible

3) Most blue badge holders would struggle to use park and ride facilities so have to use car parks which are more expensive

4) Many blue badge holders have less money than non blue badge holders because of disability related expenses, family members caring for them instead of working etc. DH had to take a massive pay cut and get a job where he could work from home when his old employer refused to let him have unpaid leave when DS4 had an operation 90 minutes drive away.

WeirdCatLadyIsFeelingFestive Fri 18-Dec-15 20:00:25

My dd has a blue badge but I don't see why we should get free parking. I understand the reasons why you might need to drive rather than other options but isn't that was dla/pip is for? to cover the additional costs you face?

I also don't see the problem with the bus, if they are children they will presumably be using the bus to get to school so wouldn't need their bus pass between 9 and 3?

The removal of a free carer is a tricky one as I see why people often need a carer to accompany them but, with children, they would normally need a parent to accompany them anyway so I don't see why that should be free. Again, if there are additional costs then that is what dla/pip is for?

But I do sympathise with having to fight for everything x

hedgehogsdontbite Fri 18-Dec-15 20:01:16

Why are the parking meters not easy to access?

They can be too high or too low. They more often than not are placed centrally so require more walking therefore negating the closer parking space. They can endanger the disabled person eg in a multistory a person in a wheelchair would be less visible than someone walking. We also have to go the long way round because we can't walk between the parked cars. I've also seen many which have kerbs around them to stop cars rolling into them.

MissFitt68 Fri 18-Dec-15 20:09:06

But everyone faces those problems surely? Many car parks are set up differently anyway. Ours is very disabled friendly so I believe it should be paid for tbh

Penfold007 Fri 18-Dec-15 20:13:23

A very close member of my family has a Blue Badge and our council introduced charges around 18 months ago. Never understood why having a BB means free parking but absolutely support that it should mean decent accessible parking.

There was a huge amount of opposition to the charges but actually it's made things a 100 times better. Locally BB holders pay for 30 mins parking and get two hours parking in exchange, plenty for most needs. The result is BB holders can actually find a designated parking space and go about their lives. If they want four hours parking they pay for two hours and get four. There have been very few complaints and those with mobility issues can actually get an accessible parking space.

MissFitt68 Fri 18-Dec-15 20:17:48

And aren't meters a thing of the past? It could be bypassed by having a pay by phone facility like one of our local train stations does. Maybe plans like this will be introduced

ihatethecold Fri 18-Dec-15 20:22:17

I don't have any experience of living with a family member with a disability but I do feel that people with disabilities and their carers should get free parking if they have a blue badge.

pudcat Fri 18-Dec-15 20:22:31

I cannot understand why you would expect to have free parking - wider spaces near to a parking machine which is accessible to a wheelchair user - yes. Nor do I see why carers should travel free on buses. Mothers are carers for young children and have to pay. Surely the disability and carers allowances will pay for this. And what is 30 minutes out of the day not to use a bus pass. YABU

Heatherplant Fri 18-Dec-15 20:22:35

I get why you're upset. Not a BB holder myself but remember the bloody nightmare that was obtaining one for a family member. I found the big awful parts of caring for a loved one were surprisingly easy to cope with, it was the little stuff that ground me down, I get why the blue badge allows you to park for free. Just a small thing that makes life a bit easier.

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