Chesterfield campaigners plead with residents as abuse of disabled parking spaces reaches ‘pandemic proportions’

Campaigners have said that disabled people in Chesterfield are facing difficulties due to a spike in the abuse of blue badge parking spaces.

Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 2:53 pm

Two Chesterfield-based groups – Disability Campaigners and Our Vision, Our Future – are coming together to raise awareness of the issues disabled people face when trying to park in the town.

Adrian Rimington, a member of Disability Campaigners, said the number of able-bodied people using disabled spaces has risen dramatically.

“The abuse of blue badge parking spaces in North East Derbyshire has reached pandemic proportions.

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Adrian Rimington and a group of disability campaigners are trying to raise awareness of the problems they face with able-bodied people using disabled parking spaces. Adrian Rimington, chair of Disability Campaigners, David Widdowson, Maria Brittland, Marvin Britland and Greg Laythan from Our Vision Our Future (L-R).

“People see an empty parking spot and for whatever reason take it up. It seems that they either cannot or refuse to understand that they’re there for disabled people.”

Adrian said that certain parts of the town where car parks are patrolled by security staff and wardens remain accessible. In other establishments, however, he said parking was becoming increasingly problematic for disabled people.

“Spaces are being abused almost everywhere, with the exception of Chesterfield Royal Hospital, which is security controlled, and the Town Hall, which has parking wardens. It doesn’t seem to be any one sort of person either – I can’t blame just the young or anything like that, it’s right across the population.”

He said in some cases delivery drivers were also parking in the disabled bays.

He added: “The French have a saying – ‘if you take my car parking space, you should take on my disability too.’

“Us and Our Vision, Our Future are both of the same mind - we’re asking people to show some decency and consideration, and leave blue badge spaces to the people who need them.”

Adrian also stressed that people should apply for a blue badge through Derbyshire County Council, rather than taking it upon themselves to decide whether they qualify to use disabled spaces.

“If someone thinks they’re worthy of a blue badge, and haven’t got one, they should apply to the county council.

“I’ve seen people with walking sticks who don't have a blue badge, but think they have the right to park – they should apply to the council for one rather than taking it upon themselves.”