VIDEO: Disabled pensioner’s independence fears as drive blocked by parking

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A disabled pensioner is worried he won’t be able to visit his wife in hospital due to a new parking scheme down his road.

Raymond Ashdown has a garage next to his house on Benedict Drive, which he uses to park his car in.

Raymond Ashdown, right, and his neighbour John Sopp. Picture: Derek Martin

Raymond Ashdown, right, and his neighbour John Sopp. Picture: Derek Martin

But since the county council painted yellow lines and parking bays opposite his house on June 30, Mr Ashdown said he struggles to exit his property because cars park opposite his driveway and the road is too narrow.

The 86-year-old is registered disabled and needs two sticks to walk due to arthritis. He said his mobility has also suffered since spending hours sat with his wife Joyce in hospital.

She has been hospitalised for 12 weeks after fracturing her femur in a fall, and has had several infections since.

“I have been getting up to take my car out at seven in the morning every day so I can get out. It would be nice to have a lie-in and not worry at age 86.

It could ruin mine and my wife’s lives

Raymond Ashdown

“If I can’t get out to see my wife and I have to get a taxi, who will be paying for it?”

Mr Ashdown is hoping that Joyce, 87, will be back home from Zachary Merton Hospital in Rustington by the end of the month.

This is when the parking scheme will be fully introduced, with only residents and visitors allowed to park in the bays.

But he fears that it could deprive them of their independence and leave them housebound.

“It could ruin mine and my wife’s lives. If we want to go out shopping and a car is parked opposite, we are stuck.
“All we want is to be able to get in and out of our driveways easily.”

A spokesperson for West Sussex County Council said the parking zone was approved in September 2015 and will be introduced on August 1.

They added: “At the moment there are numerous vehicles parking here that belong to staff at nearby businesses.

“When the restrictions come into force in August, they will no longer be able to park here as only residents/visitors are permitted.

“We believe very few cars need to park in this road during the daytime as most have driveways, and if they do, they are likely to be local and considerate in their parking habits, such as not parking directly opposite a driveway.

“If any problems do emerge after August 1, we will be in a position to consider action.

“At the moment there is nothing we can do until the scheme comes into effect. Any potential impact will be monitored and if need be, we will contact Sussex Police.”

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