Traders hit back at ‘blocked in’ claims

Disabled motorist Sue Vickery
Disabled motorist Sue Vickery
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MARKET traders have hit back at “unfair” claims they boxed in a disabled Wigan mum in a council run town centre car park.

Sue Vickery last week told the Evening Post that she was left stranded in Ashton because vans belonging to traders had blocked her exit.

But trader Gill Byrne said the problem was not caused by the traders and the location of the new disabled bays are to blame.

She added that Mrs Vickery’s claims that traders behaved in an intimidatory manner and laughed at her predicament were wide of the mark.

Mrs Byrne said: “Those parking bays have only been down for two weeks and it’s not that we were blocking that lady in, it’s where the bays are that the council needs to have a look at.

“There was no way shape or form we were blocking her in.

“She said everyone was laughing at her and that is not true, she was being rude to us.

“I asked her why was she calling the police because we weren’t blocking her in.

“The vans that she says were blocking her in can not just be moved when they’re set up because of health and safety.

“There’s always a problem with parking on that site on a Tuesday but there are signs up about the market and where you can park.

“But we think the council needs to have a re-think on those disabled bays.” Wigan Council said last week it was investigating the circumstances of the incident and will continue to “monitor and review” the location of the disabled parking bays.

Emma Barton, assistant director for economy and skills at Wigan Council, said: “We are aware of the parking problems at Ashton Market on Tuesday and we will be speaking to traders about the incident.

“The parking bays are available to use at any time and there are signs to advise drivers not to park on the unmarked area during market days.”

Mrs Vickery, 61, suffers from osteoarthritis and said she missed a round of medication because she was stuck in the car park for more than two hours after a shopping trip in Ashton town centre.

She said: “I’m aware that it should not have been a matter for the police but I had no option.

“I had my son to help out and keep me company but what if this happens again to someone else, somebody with a disabled child?”