I would like to express my disappointment regarding a conversation I just had with your parking team.
Approximately a month ago I applied for a disabled bay to be put outside our house. We have a very big 3 year old little girl. She has severe athetoid/quadriplegic cerebral palsy. She is completely tube fed and a full time wheelchair user.
Most days we have to park a street or two away from our house and due to the unadaptable nature of our home we have to carry her into the house as opposed to in her wheelchair. As you can imagine she is very heavy and also has medical equipment that she is attached to 24 hours a day. She has dystonia which is unpredictable sudden muscle spasms – keeping her safe whilst carrying her can be very challenging hence our need to be able to park outside our home.
Opposite our house is a busy car garage. They are lovely chaps and keep our space clear. But the visitors to the coffee shop, shoe shop, take aways and school all park outside our house constantly. Sometimes I have to leave my child in the house alone whilst I quickly move the car. This is not safe, but my only option. Even with a blue badge this doesn’t help on our road.
I applied for the bay and attached a copy of our v5, proof of DLA and all of the blue badge details. In saturday I received the forms to apply for a bay. I was exasperated – why should I fill all of this again when I had already spent an hour doing all of this?
Disconcerted and confused I phoned your parking team. The lady was friendly but all I got was the usual “all I can do is..” “I can’t do that…” “what you’ll have to do is…” – basically fob offery. Her only solution was for me to fill out all of the forms again.
Unless you have been a relative to someone profoundly disabled you will never quite understand the level of paperwork involved in ensuring their needs are met. It is unacceptable to ask me to do this again and frankly I am insulted.
Reluctantly I have just resent it all again and spent quite some time refilling it all in. However I am aware that now I have submitted all of it again I will be subjected to another 20 day or so wait. I asked the lady “how do I know that after 20 days you aren’t just going to send all the forms in the post again?” and she couldn’t answer that.
PLEASE do not make me fill this all out a third time. We really do need this bay, we wouldn’t apply unless we were absolutely desperate.
Understand that families like ours do have additional needs and are very busy. We spend a lot of time in and out of hospital visits and various other things – parking should not have to be such a contentious issue. We already see daily how people without blue badges feel they can still park in a disabled bay, or how people block cars in and compromise ramp access etc.
Numerous friends of mine have since spoken of similar issues with the council in applying for these bays saying that they too had to do constant call backs chasing these issues and re-filling documents out. This is ridiculous and needs to change. I understand everyone means well and you are probably all a team of efficient and hard working people – but you need to understand as closely as possible the implications of delaying/losing people’s requests.
Please do not remove my post. I would be more than happy to discuss further if necessary – I have already wasted so much time on this issue that some additional interaction should prove no issue.
I don’t want to have to escalate my complaint or begin writing to MPs, I just want people to fulfil their promises and work WITH us, not against us, understand that my anger comes from a place of wanting an easier life for my family and I, and that your operators should be telling us what they CAN do, not what they can’t.
Thank you in advance,
Miss Ceri-Ann Brown