Disabled mum slams selfish drivers
Taking steps to find a solution
email@example.com Selfish motorists are taking up disabled spaces around Ashford unnecessarily, according to a blue badge holder.
Corina Maitland has a number of physical conditions which means she has been issued with a disabled parking badge.
The former mental health support worker also drives her son Joe, 11, who has Asperger’s, and her brother Robert Russell, 63, who has learning disabilities, on regular trips to the Cineworld cinema.
Miss Maitland, 53, visits the Eureka Leisure Park in Ashford at least once a week, and says that on almost every occasion able bodied drivers can be found parking in disabled spaces.
She has also encountered similar problems at other car parks across the borough.
The Singleton resident said: “I’ve got enough stress in my life, caring for myself and my family, and this doesn’t help at all.
“All of the people doing it are driving flashy, large cars or big 4x4s. The reason they are doing it, I think, is that they want the bigger spaces so that their cars don’t get knocked or dinged.
“What right do they have to protect their cars at the expense of disabled people? I think it’s totally wrong, and something needs to be done about it.” Eureka Leisure Park have confirmed they are aware of the problem and that steps are being taken to combat the situation.
A spokesman said: “It has come to our attention that disabled spaces within the car park have been used by people not entitled to use these spaces.
“Currently the spaces are not clearly signed or designated for disabled use, and as such we are unable to penalise those people incorrectly using these spaces. We are in the process of organising new signage to ensure that every user at Eureka Park is clearly able to identify the spaces that they can or cannot use and ensure that the disabled spaces are kept for the exclusive use of those people entitled to use them.”
The mother-of-five says that Cineworld have always been helpful in accommodating her family’s needs, including by allowing them early access to screenings.
But the multiplex firm’s hands are tied when it comes to the parking situation, as they
‘What right do they have, to protect their cars at the expense of disabled people? I think it’s totally wrong, and something needs to be done about it’
do not own the land.
Miss Maitland also claims that when she has confronted offending drivers directly, the attitude of some has been aggressive.
She added: “I have asked people who don’t have badges to move, and many of them have been rude and abusive. I can speak up for myself, but perhaps there are others out there, particularly the very frail or elderly, who don’t feel they can.
“I want to bring this behaviour to the public’s attention, and maybe they will stop and thing about what they’re doing in future. How would they feel if this was being done to a member of their family?”
What do you think? Write to Kentish Express, 34-36 North Street, Ashford, TN24 8JR or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Corina Maitland with son Joe and brother Robert Russell