|Fines, Yellow Lines and Blue Badge Theft|
Parking in Chiswick from a disabled viewpoint
Chiswick’s plethora of parking issues has to be one of greatest bugbears of living in W4. And whilst there are those amongst us who can debate usage, or indeed ownership, of their car, what about those for whom it is a vital lifeline?
A disabled resident contacted ChiswickW4.com recently to see if would be possible to highlight the increasing difficulties of mobility on and around the High Road.
He spoke of the problems he encountered on a regular basis when using his car, his electronic cart and accessing shops using his two walking sticks. His experiences were an eye opener.
The theft of his Blue Badge* and lack common courtesy shown by some fellow residents aside, the inconsistency shown by the council’s parking wardens is the one that proves the most expensive for someone who receives £54 a week incapacity benefit.
“With my blue badge I should be able to park on a single yellow line, safely of course, for up to three hours,” he explained “Some parking wardens understand this but others don’t and issue a fine.”
He went onto to say how he had stopped outside WH Smith on the High Road to buy his newspaper for years until, without warning, he received a £100 penalty notice issued via a newly installed CCTV camera.
“Apparently they had turned the area into a loading bay but I didn’t see any signs informing me of this. I'm guessing the fine came from here because I've now asked three times where the CCTV image was taken but they will only say Chiswick High Road. For all I know I could have been loading dog food at vets or air con from Robert Dyas so in effect legally in a loading bay.”
Deciding to make a stand and refuse the pay the fine, he said, “Let the council take me court, I’ll be happy to explain to the them how difficult it is for disabled people.”
“I cannot walk the length of the High Road; I am not physically able to. There are only three disabled parking bays – two in Fishers Lane and one behind M&S. You can’t use the ones in Sainsbury’s car park unless you are shopping in the store.”
Hounslow Council were asked to comment on disabled parking situation in Chiswick but are yet to respond.
*The Blue Badge scheme, run by the local authorities, helps people who are registered blind, or people who have severe walking difficulties, to be parked closer to shops and services they need to access. Blue badges are issued to individuals, not vehicles, so can be used by a driver or their passenger.
May 9, 2008