My knight in shining armour

Notts County and Bassetlaw councils need to get their heads out of their back sides regarding the parking ban on Bridge Street and Bridge Place.

I am both a blue and green badge permit holder and I have already been caught short because of the market stalls being on Bridge Street. I had no choice but to go to the bank a few Saturdays ago and naturally had to park at the top of Ward Lane and walk down to the bank. Going down Ward Lane is certainly a trial in itself and trying to go back up with a pair of crutches and shopping is nigh on impossible without a lot of pain and discomfort being caused by the excess effort required to get to the top.

On this particular Saturday I had done what I needed to do and had made it to the bottom of Ward Lane where I had to stop and gather myself for the next stage of getting back to my car. A few more steps up the hill and another pause to gather myself, at which point a kind, tall, well built man stopped to ask if I was alright. Wincing in pain and panting for breath, I answered I would make it eventually. He was having none of it and swooped me up in his arms and carried me, my crutches and a few groceries up to my car in the disabled bay at the top of Ward Lane.

Thankfully (for him) I am only 55 kilos (soaking wet) which seemed nothing to this man. He would not tell me who he was or accept my offer of wanting to give him something to buy himself a drink. So here’s thanking you now sir, whoever you were because without you that day I would have been calling the emergency services before I reached my car.

There are better ways of controlling the parking in these areas on none market days:

1) Have the parking wardens check the blue badge holders, as I have seen many able-bodied people using someone else’s blue badge. I thought this was the purpose of having a photo on the reverse side of both badges, so they could be checked.

2) Hire a disabled person with a mobility scooter to be a special warden for disabled parking and access, again checking the driver or passenger is the holder of the blue badge. I’d happily do the job on my good days, especially if it would include getting rid of the foul mouthed yobs on their bicycles, who are a hazard to all pedestrians and more so the elderly and disabled.

3) Should someone be found using a blue badge and or green access badge illegally, the badge should be confiscated immediately.

4) The cop out is simple - to ban all parking is by far the cheapest option for the councils, however, have they considered the repercussions if a disabled person has a fall (uneven walk ways or too far to walk from the parking areas to the shop) or even a stroke or heart attack because of the excess strain of trying to remain independent and being forced to walk from parking areas like the top of town or Ward Lane. Where else is there to park to get to Bridge Street when the market is on.

Going down to the shops from either of these parking areas is a long trek, after which a person does their shopping then not only do a I have to walk with two crutches but by now I’ve also got my shopping to carry and it’s uphill back to the car.

My choice of when I go out is limited by my disabilities, which was then limited further by not having access to Bridge Street and Bridge Place on market days. Now I am being told that even if I am having a good day I cannot enjoy a little necessity shopping because I cannot access the area I want to be. Maybe the councils should issue us disabled people with a cyanide pill and get rid of us altogether.

I was awarded my blue badge and green access badge because of my inability to walk any great distance without causing myself a lot of pain and discomfort, now I’m supposed to do what? Go to another area to do my shopping where parking is available for disabled people? Depend on someone else to do it for me? (I have no-one). I was born and raised in this area and so now that I am disabled I am to be dictated to as to where I should shop because of parking.

Worksop would be nearer to the decent place it once was if the councils would to get rid of the druggies, junkies and alcoholics rather than it’s disabled people.

The delivery vans are as much to blame for the ridiculous congestion that occurs at times as well as illegal badge users and holders but who are the people that get the short end of the stick? Truly disabled people and legitimate badge holders. Delivery van drivers are usually fit, able-bodied people so why must they insist on parking outside of the shop they are delivering to? They have trolleys etc to trundle the goods into the shops, would a few extra yards hurt them? I think not!

Even the thought of having to walk all that distance to the shops from the parking areas is causing me anxiety and seriously making me think about having to move out of my own area, to be able to continue to be independent because when the ban starts I will have no other option than to spend more money on petrol and go somewhere else to shop.

What have I done to be punished? Become disabled!

I thought this country was a democracy not a dictatorship.

A very disgruntled local disabled womaN