As you know we are campaigning to government to get all disabled parking bays protected, no matter what their geographical location may be. Click here to sign and share our petition if you have not already done so.
We also feel that builders or providers of disabled bays need formal guidelines defined by a central source, when adding disabled bays to car parks.
There must be some form of standard size, that the quality of the bays needs to be maintained, that the markings should be clear and signage visible to all. It is unacceptable that the builders have no guidelines to follow, and are therefore left to their own devices when creating a provision which is essential to the most vulnerable in our society. It should also be noted that the people providing these spaces are not disabled themselves and therefore are not qualified to understand the complexities faced by disabled drivers, passengers and carers.
Discussions in the group have also lead us to believe that we should follow the US example and have spaces for different vehicles. What do we mean by this?
Well, while most vehicles sit quite happily in a normal space, the disabled bay allows the driver or passenger the extra room to have the door wide open and access their wheelchair or manoeuvre themselves with sticks and so on. But these spaces do not accommodate larger wheelchair access vehicles (WAVs) who need much more space at the rear of the vehicle. We propose that this also become part of the initial design process for new car parking facilities, and also part of the law to protect disabled bays. Using the Equality Act 2010 as a guideline, we feel without these changes a large group of disabled drivers and passengers are in fact being discriminated against.
As the images below (click the image to enlarge) clearly highlight, standard disabled spaces are no good for WAVs;
The images also show a common problem faced by all disabled drivers and carers;
Which is a tendency by the store owners to place random posts in the way, thus hindering accessibility for many wheelchair users. Clearly a lot more thought in the placement of disabled bays is clearly required, and certainly when it involves the placement of these posts!
As always, we’re interested to hear from you, to know your thoughts on this and any of the subjects we cover on our site. Let us know in the comments section just below!
Images Credit – David J Wrighton