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Residential disabled parking bays outside of your home?

(30 Posts)
Graciefer Fri 05-Aug-11 12:06:53

Hi there,

I just wondered how many of you have a disabled parking bay marked outside of your residence by your local authority for your children?

The reason I ask, is that my local authority will only provide one if the person who qualifies is the driver of the car, therefore ruling all parents, carers, etc not eligible, regardless of what additional needs your children may have.

I'm thinking about talking to my local Councilors/MP's about why this (IMHO) crazy rule exists and if there is any appeal process or dispenation for extenuating circumstances and thought it would be useful to find out if my local authority is in the minority with this rule or if it is commonplace nationwide.

My own personal circumstances are that I have 3 boys, 2 of whom are in receipt of higher rate care and mobility and are blue badge holders and my youngest is just starting the assessment process as we highly suspect he is also going to be somewhere on the spectrum.

We live on a fairly busy road and parking has increasingly become an issue with multiple car families and several of the adjacent propertys becoming multiple occupancy and therefore multiple cars. A nearby free public car park has disappeared after having a Lidl built on it and with little roadside parking around the local shopping amenities, our road is increasingly used by business users, shoppers and people using the local railway station. This all means that parking can be a real issue.

With the additional needs that my children have, getting them to and from the car is not only very difficult, but increasingly dangerous. Having access to a nearby disabled parking bay would be so much safer for all concerned (although I am aware that anyone with a blue badge could park in it, although I do believe common courtesys should avoid many issues).

So I think common sense would dictate that we have a real need that could easily be addressed and I am going to put that forward, however I am under no illusion that common sense has anything to do with political decisions within my local authority, lol.

If anyone of you have, or indeed even know of friends who are parents of children with special needs who have a residential disabled parking bay provided by their local authority, could you please pop a post on here and if you wouldn't mind could you include what local authority you are in/under (I understand if you would rather not say that though).

Many thanks for you help.
Grace

Agnesdipesto Fri 05-Aug-11 14:02:42

we don't have one. But have you seen the policy in writing. If it does indeed say that you should write back and ask the council to exercise discretion in your particular case to make an exception. Councils have discretion to do most things as long as its reasonable. If they say no you can complain to council and if still say no, go to Local Govt Ombudsman

Or if that all sounds too long you could threaten to judicially review the decision you have - do you have written reasons? You could approach a legal aid lawyer - sometimes one letter is all it takes to make them think again and just threaten to JR. I think you get legal aid for JR for a child.

Do you have room on your property eg front garden for a parking space? If so you could apply for a disabled facilities grant for the council to put a hard standing on your garden and a dropped kerb to provide parking. Bet you anything you like if thats an option they suddenly give you a disabled bay - which is much cheaper!

redgate Fri 05-Aug-11 17:07:58

Hi Grace, sounds like a total nightmare! Had no problems at all getting a bay outside our house, I am a foster carer for disabled children in Stockport.

Graciefer Fri 05-Aug-11 17:59:05

Thanks for your responses so far, they are much appreciated.

I wouldn't have known where to go next, hence why I thought I would visit my local Councilor 'surgery' tomorrow and see if they can help.

I haven't actually applied yet, as the local authoritys website makes it very clear that I can't, their website says:

If you have a disability, and have a valid Blue Badge, we may be able to place a disabled parking bay near your house.

To qualify for a disabled parking space you need to:

have a valid Blue Badge
be the driver of the vehicle that will use the parking space
have consistent difficulty finding a parking space near to your home
not have access to off road parking

Once your application has been submitted we may visit you to consider the location of a disabled bay outside, or near to, your home and any road safety issues. As part of the application process, we may also request a letter from your doctor to confirm the need for the bay on medical grounds.

Disabled driver parking spaces are not provided to:

Husbands, wives, parents, relatives or any named nominated driver of the applicant even if they live at your address and provide transport for you.
To resolve driveway/garage access problems.
To act as 'keep clear' areas for visiting vehicles such as taxis or in other cases, where the space would only be used for part of the time.

Unfortunately, our front garden is not big enough for a parking space, or else we would have considered that work ourselves or maybe looked into getting it added to our current DFG application.

I was really hoping that they could show discretion, but if not, I shall definately follow up some of your suggestions.

Anyone else have a bay?

EllenJaneisnotmyname Fri 05-Aug-11 18:14:04

I don't, but that's patently unfair. If you have disability quite often that will mean not being able to drive. So a disabled person, but still able to drive, gets a space, but a (perhaps) more severely disabled person, who can't drive has to walk however far to their carer's car???

I don't want to look like I'm playing disabled top trumps here, but that is certainly an argument.

Graciefer Fri 05-Aug-11 18:21:01

You know what Ellen, as I was rather caught up in our own situation, I had not thought of it like that and you are right, that is definately discrimination if ever I have saw it.

I will definately be airing that arguement in my future dialogue, thanks.

devientenigma Fri 05-Aug-11 19:46:55

Hi Gracie, I have only flicked at the thread but just thought I would add I have a disabled bay outside my home for my ds as well as the council leveling my downstairs including a new front drive.

yogabonkers Fri 05-Aug-11 21:18:42

hi gracie, we are in the process of applying for one for my 5 year old autistic son. he can walk but has no sense of danger and our road is very busy with very limited parking.

i would also advise going to your local press if you can handle your picture in the paper!!! (get your string vests on and best unhappy and downtrodden faces) grin

madwomanintheattic Fri 05-Aug-11 21:23:27

we were offered one in hampshire. <shrugs> we turned it down because we knew we would be moving in a year or two.
it's another postcode thing. makes no sense.

BakeliteBelle Fri 05-Aug-11 21:39:43

We've got one for DS who is on high rate care and mobility and badge is in his name, not ours. No-one in their right mind would let him behind the wheel of a car...

Have you tried phoning them up and stating your case? It may be clumsy wording rather than a definite no. If they really do refuse badges for children and severely disabled people who can't drive, they are really outrageously and badly informed about disability. I have never heard of such a thing.

Graciefer Fri 05-Aug-11 22:02:34

Thanks again everyone for your responses. It is good to hear that a few of you have got bays and makes me more confident to point out the craziness!

I wouldn't really like to stick my family into the glare of local publicity, that doesn't mean however I won't consider it if necessary. Hopefully however, they will be willing to use some discretion as I'm sure they must have the ability to.

BakeliteBelle - My local authority will provide blue badges for children, the problem is they won't consider providing a disabled parking space outside of homes unless it is the driver of the vehicle that needs it. I actually shuddered at the thought of any of my boys behind a wheel, heheheh.

BakeliteBelle Fri 05-Aug-11 22:07:29

I wonder if there is are national guidelines on this? I would hope so, to avoid some silly sod getting the wrong end of the stick like your LA. Sorry I don't know but maybe a bit of googling might be productive?

Graciefer Sat 06-Aug-11 12:47:40

Just a quick update after a meeting with a local Councilor (who it turns out was the cabinet officer for transport some 8 year back).

To be honest it wasn't that helpful, first the Councilor said the reason for the rule of bays not provided for parents, is that they would only be able to be used with the children (or blue badge holders) in the car and that if the parents parked in the space without the children, they would be breaking the law.

It was then quickly clarified that actually, there is no such 'law' and that these spaces were actually courtesy spaces and anyone could 'legally' park in them.

The Councilor acknowledged he was aware of there being a parking problem, as he recently tried to implement a permit parking scheme, however this never got past the consultation stage as it met so much local opposition.

He said that we could legally park in the middle (of our somewhat narrow busy road) in order to get the children out, but this simply isn't a viable solution as not only would it anger and obstruct other drivers, but it simply wouldn't be safe for my children and doesn't help getting them to the car in the mornings when we have had to park some distance away.

When other local authoritys that do offer bays to parents and carers was mentioned, he replied that not all did (which is correct, but not really the point) and that many others charged to make them traffic enforcable, maybe £100 to set up and £10 a year. Of course the reply to that was, that wouldn't be a great issue, as what price do we put on the safety of our children?

The long and short of it is, after a lengthy discussion, he suggested that we write to the local authority and explain our circumstances and ask if there is some sort of dispentation or appeal process (which he didn't think there was). He then went on to say, that if by some chance we did get a courtesy bay offered, that it probably wouldn't do us much good and we should ask for an traffic enforcable space, which was even more unlikely for us to be granted.

I don't feel we are any further forward and I had hoped that the Councilor, with their job to be to represent their constituents, may have offered to assist and even represent our case to the powers that be. However that isn't the case.

My next plan of action, is to write a detailed letter to the transport office, acknowledging that according to their guidelines we can't apply, however listing our extenuating circumstances and asking them to show discretion and special dispensation because of our genuine need and the real safety issue (this is an issue of safety rather than mere convenience).

Depending on the response to that letter, we will be seeking an appointment at my local MP's constituent surgery and asking if she can offer us any support and even represent our request with the local authority.

I don't think there is much more we can do, until I fire off this letter to the transport department (I am going to CC it to the Councils cabinet member of transport also) and hear back from them with their decision and reasons either way.

However, if any of you have any other advice or suggestions, I would be pleased to hear them and if anyone else has a bay provided and wouldn't mind telling me what local authority you live in, I would very much appreciate it.

yogabonkers Sat 06-Aug-11 14:47:05

i would go straight to a lawer.

often the only thing that works in education disputes.

good luck.

eggandcress Sat 06-Aug-11 16:34:19

Where we we used to live we got the same thing the lady at the council said there was no way I would get a space it was only for disabled drivers. She said go ahead and apply but I doubt you will be successful. I did apply and I wrote a long detailed explanation of why I needed it for my son - four weeks later they were outside doing the painting. I was thrilled. This was in East London.

Graciefer Sat 06-Aug-11 17:15:24

Thanks again for the support, we have just typed up a rather long e-mail listing exhaustive reasons why parking is an issue in our locality and why our childrens disabilitys warrant the need for a disabled bay on safety reasons.

We have sent it to the councils transport department and CC'ed it to the councils cabinet minister for transport, all of our local councilors and our local MP. Hopefully someone, somewhere will see sense on their ridiculous policy.

I didn't hold out much hope, but you have given me some after reading your post eggandcress, many thanks for that smile

Graciefer Mon 08-Aug-11 22:27:22

Some positive (I hope) movement, I received this in response to my lengthy e-mail today:

Good afternoon ********,

Thank you for e mail regarding the placement of a marked disabled driver parking space near to your home; we are presently reviewing our current policies and criteria used in the provision and assistance of offered by such spaces.

The present policy does allow for some discretion and flexibility to be used in the consideration and to that point I'll arrange for an application pack to be sent out for your completion to your address.I would ask that you provide your own driving & vehicle details and note on the application that it is made on behalf of the younger members of your family

kindest regards

EllenJaneisnotmyname Mon 08-Aug-11 22:34:39

Doesn't actually say yes, but it's certainly more positive than your visit to the councillor. Crossing fingers for you.

BakeliteBelle Tue 09-Aug-11 00:17:02

Well done! It is such hard work being an SN parent and having to fight so many battles but you have got somewhere. Perhaps you can refer them to other LA's policies on this matter...?

shaz298 Tue 09-Aug-11 08:54:26

Hi,

We don't have one now, but did have one before. Luuk was only 2 at the time and therefore wasn't even in receipt of mobility allowance!! So it definitely can be done.

We're in Scotland though, where things are often different. x

unpa1dcar3r Wed 10-Aug-11 10:50:00

I've never heard anything so ridiculous Grace. Sorry haven't read all the posts (am about to pop out) but I would definately challenge them on this. They surely must not strictly adhere to this rule as loads of people have bays for their caree.
I haven't the need of one but I am going to check out my own LA to see what their policy is now.

If they do object I would maybe try the disability dicrimination act to see if they could help here.

BakeliteBelle Wed 10-Aug-11 13:51:12

I was thinking about the DDA too. They are discriminating against adults with more severe disabilities, or disabilities that mean they can't drive, and children with disabilities, by having this ridiculous, unthinking policy. The best outcome would be a change of policy as others will have the same trouble as you further down the line

unpa1dcar3r Wed 10-Aug-11 16:01:33

Googled my local auth and hey hey surprise surprise they don't even have anything about parking bays. No surprise there, they are not called the comedy council here for nothing! And they weren't just on the news and in the papers with a 'damning report' for not protecting vulnerable children for nothing either!

Graciefer Thu 29-Sep-11 10:52:49

Just to let you all know, after sending in the 4 page letter, a bunch of evidence and making it clear that we were ready to fight this one out; this morning our disabled bay was painted on the road outside of our house smile

It is so frustrating having to battle for every little thing, however I will admit that it is more than a little satisfying when you one of these moral victorys.

Chuffed to bits, if not a little worried about potential neighbour conflict as our new super long Hyundai I800 only just fits in the space leaving less than a foot either side, so hopefully our neighbours will be considerate.

Thanks for all your help, it was very much appreciated!

Graciefer Thu 29-Sep-11 10:57:09

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