Disabled driver stranded ‘after white van men boxed her in’

Disabled motorist Sue Vickery and son Jamie
Disabled motorist Sue Vickery and son Jamie

A DISABLED driver was left stranded for hours on a Wigan car park because inconsiderate motorists boxed her in.

Mum-of-two Sue Vickery was prevented from leaving Ashton town centre meaning she missed a round of medication for a debilitating illness.

The 61-year-old is now urging Wigan Council to rethink the location of the new disabled parking bays for fear they could pose a risk in an emergency situation.

Mrs Vickery, who lives in Winstanley, claims white vans used by market traders caused the blockage and they refused to move to let her out.

She told the Evening Post: “I parked in one of two disabled spaces and by the time I had finished my shopping the other space was filled and there were two white vans parked across a number of bays on the other side.

“When I said I was blocked in, the traders said they had told me I would be, but I didn’t hear them, and they wouldn’t move.

“Instead I was forced to wait hours until the person parked in the other disabled space returned.”

Mrs Vickery added she was intimidated by a section of the traders who viewed the situation with amusement.

She said: “If they had moved 6ins forward everything would have been sorted but they refused. They were making a joke of it, they just laughed.”

Luckily for Mrs Vickery, who suffers from osteoarthritis, her son James came to her aid and she was able to leave the car park after a number of hours and before the police arrived.

The retired teaching assistant added that a similar situation in the future could pose a real risk if there was an emergency.

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?”

A sign on the car park, which is also the location of Ashton market, informs motorists that parking is not permitted on market days; Tuesday and Saturday. But this only applies to areas not marked out in parking bays, the council confirmed.

The town hall has also agreed to “monitor and review” the location of the disabled spaces.

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.”