LETTER: Farewell to Steyning...

My wife is aged 79 and has suffered Parkinson’s disease for 15 years, is confined to a wheelchair and lives in a care home due to her disability.

She has a blue badge for parking purposes. My vehicle has been specially adapted to accommodate her in the wheelchair in the rear of the vehicle. Last weekend we decided to take a trip to Steyning as we used to enjoy going there when my wife was more mobile. I parked in the main street car park and displayed the blue badge.

On passing the car park notice-board I noticed that people using a blue badge had to pay unless they were in receipt of the higher level of Disability Living Allowance, (now known as Personal Independence Payment).

My wife doesn’t qualify for this as it is age related and she is older than 64years.

I duly paid the parking fee only to find in small print that the machine doesn’t give change. What’s 25p between friends? Yet another money-making machine aimed at increasing the establishment’s coffers.

After our strolling we decided to have a coffee and a cake in the local tea rooms only to find it had been modified since our last visit.

Admittedly it was busy but I couldn’t find any room for a wheelchair so we left. So a planned pleasant afternoon was spoiled by some penny-pinching bureaucrat who has decided my wife’s disability is not severe enough to warrant an hour’s free parking.

If anybody knows this person please pass on my comments and wish him/her good health so they won’t have to incur the stigma of being disabled in the future.

Note: how is this discrimination of the disabled monitored? Possibly a parking attendant requesting the motorist’s benefits to ascertain free parking or not. I think not. Farewell Steyning, we won’t be returning.

D. Carter

Willowbrook Park, Lancing

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