In response to “Car Parking is not free - get over it!” (August 18th).
It is not necessarily easy to just “get over” a huge fine for disabled badge holders, given the majority of them are some of the most vulnerable in society, being pensioners and in poor health.
Name and Address Supplied recommends the opticians. Well, my mother is partially sighted actually and is too frail to walk as far as the signs, which were some distance from the disabled bays. Yes, I should have gone over to look at them, but having parked there before, I had no reason to think payment was due. However, when I went to Whalley last week, I saw the The Swan pub has taken onboard the Dept of Transport guidelines and put a sign in front of each disabled bay, stating car parking is not free. These signs were not in place earlier. Had they been, the various correpondants would have seen them immediately and paid, averting fines and emotional upset.
The fact is that most car park providers uphold the spirit of the blue badge scheme and allow blue badge holders not just to park closer to their destination, but also allow them free parking. It is just a few greedy car park owners who insist on payment in full (and yes Mr Heywood, I do know South Lakes Authority require payment, as do Bury MBC, but they make that plain as soon as you enter the car park) but the real gripe is the car park owners who ambush the old and unwary, by not making it plain the disabled bays are not free and hitting them with a massive fine. If they were to simply ask for payment of the amount due, that would be fair enough.
Whalley is a thriving community and no-one is seeking to put it down, but the attitue of the car park owner and operators is enough to ensure people stop coming into Whalley and that is a pity.