A FURIOUS motorist and his disabled wife who paid for a new town centre parking saver scheme ticket are demanding their money back after struggling to find any suitable and available spaces.
John and Joan Taylor, of Downlands, at Brimington, in Chesterfield, bought a disabled, Blue Badge annual saver ticket for £50 so they could use Chesterfield Borough Council’s Old Ship Lane car park.
But the couple has repeatedly struggled to find available disabled spaces at the car park, which are supposed to be exclusively for Blue Badge saver ticket holders only, because they claim spaces are still wrongly being used for free by people without saver scheme privileges.
Mr Taylor said: “I’ve paid money up front but people are continuing to be allowed to park in these spaces without Blue Badge saver tickets and without having to pay while I’ve been forced to go to the Donut Roundabout car park where the saver scheme doesn’t apply and I’ve had to pay.
“It feels like I’m having to pay twice for parking in the town so I might as well just get rid of my saver scheme ticket and get my money back.”
Mr Taylor chooses to use the Old Ship Lane car park because it is closer to preferred shops and other saver scheme car parks including Durrant Road and Hollis Lane do not have specific, wider disabled bays for his wife who has rheumatoid arthritis.
The Blue Badge weekly and annual saver scheme was introduced at the beginning of last month and is overseen by the borough council and applications are dealt with by Derbyshire County Council.
Blue Badge saver ticket holders are entitled to park at New Beetwell Street and Saltergate multi-storey car parks as well as ground level car parks including Ashgate Road, Devonshire Street, The Derbyshire Times, Spa Lane and others without any additional charge.
However, Blue Badge holders without saver tickets have to pay for parking in most cases but enjoy some concessions.
A Council spokesperson said: “We’ve had a transition period since April 2 when the new Blue Badge Holder saver ticket came into effect at all relevant council car parks not just Old Ship Lane. This is to give people the chance to familiarise themselves with the new scheme rather than enforcing it overnight which would have disadvantaged a lot of people. We will shortly begin the enforcement of the new regulations around the Blue Badge scheme across all council car parks.”