This is a little concerning. It is bad enough already trying to get an accessible space without this bus ruling having an effect on parking too! I think the judge had limited knowledge of the effect this ruling will have on disabled people in general and I still believe that everyone should undergo some sort of disability awareness training to make them aware of the issues faced by disabled people on a daily basis. Maybe if this judge had tried accessing public transport using a wheelchair then maybe the outcome of the case would have been different.
People need to understand that if you use a wheelchair you need a wider space, or if you have problems moving you need the wider space to open the door fully, or if walking is an issue you need to be able to park close! I know there are many other disabilities that require an accessible space however I can only talk from my own experiences, please know that I am not disrespecting other disabilities or excluding them from using accessible spaces.
It is okay for able bodied and parents to squeeze in the smaller spaces (of which there are loads), but to a person with mobility problems the wider spaces are essential to living some semblance of an equal life. Believe me, I have had to forgo a shopping trip just because some able bodied person or parent thinks it is their right to park in an accessible space. Not good when you need the essentials like a loaf of bread!
Think before you park – even if you are only going to be one minute because that one minute may prevent someone who does have the right to use that space from getting an essential prescription, or the essential food items, or from enjoying a shopping trip, or meal with friends – basically you are preventing them from living their life the way they should be able to, which is something able bodied tend to take for granted. Also the disabled person may not have the energy to try again later so will go without until they are able to try the trip again which may be several days later. How would you feel if you turned up at the supermarket to find it closed when it should be open, and then find it is closed for several days more and you need food, well that is how it feels for a disabled person when they can’t get parked in an accessible space – the shops might just as well be closed!
I know there are many who read this blog that would never dream of parking in an accessible space, however if you happen to be that one who does then please, please, I urge you to think before you park and don’t use accessible spaces when you don’t need to, as you will find out, should you become disabled yourself, how valuable these spaces are to allow you to access vital services and to enjoy life like everyone else.
Thank you for reading and remember to be kind and considerate to others, if I can do it then so can you.