Anthony Steen may have had a point...


Anthony Steen has been in the news of late for having used a disabled person's parking bay - despite being as fit as a fiddle. He said there was an "absurd number of handicapped spaces" and national regulations should be changed. Opposition MPs and groups representing the interests of disabled people have seized on these comments, most branding the MP as "arrogant", "pompous", "ignorant" and the like.

Hunters feels that the MP was in the wrong on two counts: the law is the law and he broke it and the word "handicapped" is outdated, negative and offensive. But, to answer his main charge (that there are too many disabled bays), well, he may have a point.

Every time Hunter visits his local Sainsbury's, parking is normally quite a problem yet there are up to a dozen disabled bays sitting there - empty! Some Blue Badge holders appear quite fit, whereas some elderly people who have obvious mobility problems are forced to walk right across a car park to get their weekly shopping. It doesn't seem fair, does it? There needs to be a review of this policy and the entitlement rules for Blue Badges need to be strengthened.

Disabled organisations would be better off calling for better accessibility for buses and trains (and, no, the answer isn't more bendy buses!). Certainly, London's tube stations are dreadful. If you're in a wheelchair and want to use the tube, you can forget it. One organisation that does excellent work in promoting the interest of disabled people is The Leonard Cheshire Trust - perhaps Mr. Steen should contact them – they may learn from each others experiences?

11 comments:

David Allen said...

There are too many disabled bays in car parks _ it is a poor use of space. Seems like they are all planning for the unlikely event that a paraplegics convention comes to town Presumably this has been caused by the usual suspects gold-plating the relevant regulations and pissing everyone else off in the process. Disabled badges should be person specific not car-specific. I have often seen disabled bays being used (legally) by people who are not disabled. Yet there are many people with mobility problems but no car, who would love to be able to make use of these bays when they have the opportunity to be taken out for the day/ out shopping by a family member, neighbour or friend without a disabled badge. They should be entitled to their own removeable badge for use on these occasions _ and it should be illegal to use a disabled badge on occasions when a disabled person is not present.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

"Disabled badges should be person specific not car-specific".

Agree

Tom Mason said...

Quite so. And it can'd do much to improve public support for the disabled when people see seemingly excessive facilities being provided only to be abused by those who shouldn't be using them.

Electro Kevin said...

I agree that there are too many spaces. The point of allocated spaces though, Jeremy, is one of easy access and width of bay.

Tim Roll-Pickering said...

How exactly could you make the badge workably person specific? Very few carparks have human attendants checking cars as they enter and by definition a parked car doesn't have the person in it.

Anonymous said...

What would happen if the world was designed purely and simply for disabled people. I think this is a much better idea. I would prefer that this was the case.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above comment. It is society that causes barriers to disabled people leading a fulfilled life. It is society and attitudes that need to change. Able- bodied people are so arrogant they never appreciate their freedoms.

BuyLevitra said...

Thanks for article!

Phentermine said...

Thanks for interesting article.

Viagra said...

Glad to read articles like this. Thanks to author!

Anonimous said...

Excellent website. Good work. Very useful. I will bookmark!