My parking nightmare

Appealing for a temporary blue badge disabled driver scheme, Andrew and Sarah Brown of Abram
Appealing for a temporary blue badge disabled driver scheme, Andrew and Sarah Brown of Abram

A WIGAN couple are calling for changes to disabled parking laws to improve mobility for people recovering from broken bones.

Andy and Sarah Brown, of Ashwood Avenue, Abram, believe temporary disabled parking badges should be issued to injured patients to ensure they can park safely near shops and supermarkets during their recovery.

Sarah, who dislocated her knee on New Year’s Eve, says she has been unable to visit some stores with her husband Andy because they do not have a blue badge to display.

Sarah, 30, said: “It’s very frustrating. I can’t go anywhere because we have nowhere to park. The injury means I’m unable to get out of the car without opening the door fully. But disabled bays are the only spaces with enough room to do so.

“I don’t know why temporary blue badges haven’t been introduced. Applying for a blue badge is such a long process that I’d no longer need one by the time it would come through.”

Andy, 29, said: “We’ve realised that some supermarkets offer free wheelchairs for this type of situation. However, I may be fined or clamped if I take up a disabled space.

“Without the extra room from a disabled bay, I can not completely open the door for Sarah to get out.

“Parking firms and local authorites must see sense and issue temporary blue badges for injuries that require splinted legs or casts.”

The Blue Badge Scheme enables people with severe mobility problems to park close to where they need to go.

The scheme operates throughout the UK and is administered by local authorities who deal with applications and issue badges.

Badge holders may park on single or double yellow lines for up to three hours in England and Wales, except where there is a ban on loading or unloading.

Badge holders can also park for free and for as long as they need at on-street parking meters and pay-and-display machines.

Sarah dislocated her knee at home on New Year’s Eve and was taken to Wigan Infirmary by ambulance.

Mr and Mrs Brown have praised hospital staff for their help in treating Sarah on one of their busiest nights of the year.

Andy added: “Sadly we saw the start of 2011 in the back of an ambulance.

“But I have to hand it to the paramedics and Wigan Infirmary A&E staff for their handling of my wife on New Year’s Eve.

“We were only in A&E for three hours, which is outstanding considering the high patient turnover we witnessed.”