Parking bay

After several letters and photos, we have finally been allowed to have a parking bay outside.  This has made such a difference. We live on a busy road and opposite a large secondary school, so parking is impossible even at the weekends.  Transport usually have to park miles up the road and are far from happy when they come to pick mum up for her club or appointments.  But, yes you have guessed, it only took a day or two before people started parking in the space.  I completely understand it is not ‘ours’ as such and anyone with a blue badge can use it, as they should if it helps, but what about those who do not have a blue badge.

Sunday, I came out to find a large BMW pulling into the space.  I pointed out calmly that he was parking in a disabled bay and he immediately became angry, shouting that the bay was for anyone to use and that he had a blue badge.  Well display it then, I suggested. Of course, he didn’t have one, just the ‘clock’ part.  I said that if he had dropped his aunt off round the corner, as he claimed, then he would understand the difficulties faced by disabled people and would also be fully aware of the rules.  There were lots of spaces round the corner where he could still park and no parking restrictions.   He again argued that the bay was for anyone with a blue badge and it didn’t just belong to me and I totally agreed reminding him at the same time that he didn’t actually have one.  I could not believe his cheek.  He did finally move away once I started to take a photo of the car but I shouldn’t have the added stress of having to ask people who aren’t disabled to leave the space for those who are.  Then of course Monday morning we had all the parents stopping there.

No doubt people think it unfair that we should have a bay at all, but they really have no idea how much harder it is to get out of the house and in a car when you are disabled or in a wheelchair – lifting it up and down steps and kerbs, manoeuvring it through doorways and gates and around obstacles, trying to stop it running away from you whilst making sure you haven’t forgotten anything, or just pushing the thing.  Having a parking space near to hand is such a great help.  When non-disabled people park in it there is nothing you can do as it is just an advisory marking – how ridiculous is that?!  I could have just chalked something on the road myself if it means nothing.  If you are going to give someone the benefit of a parking bay, and recognise that there is a valid need, at least make it enforceable in some way?

Total waste

Wtf, not only did mum have to pay for a stairlift to be installed but now has to pay to have it taken out!  And no one wants it!  Its barely a year old and yet it is absolutely worthless.  I cant believe the wasteful way our country deals with mobility aids.  The NHS does not want used walking frames, handrails, commodes or stairlifts returned and they are all just thrown away.  I am going to have to scout around for a charity that might need them, but thought that was what I could do with the stairlift – more than happy to donate the thing, but instead we had to pay nearly £200 for someone to come and remove it.

The first company didn’t turn up as promised and the second said they would come in a few days but it took a fortnight and even then were a couple of hours late, having to come from the North of England.  It was then a very painful experience watching the guy trying to remove the thing.  Having taken it up to the top of the stairs, he then fiddled with various parts and it stopped working altogether.  I suggested it was because he had loosened the stop at the top, but he denied touching it.  About an hour later, he said ‘oh, its the stop at the top that’s stopping it move!’.  Nearly 5 hours later I finally helped him carry it over to his van.  I am sure he deserved the £200 for the time and effort, but doubt he will get much of it.  They claimed they would not refurbish it, hence the charge, but would dispose of it ethically, but as he sawed the rail in half he groaned that this one wouldn’t be refurbished so I wasn’t that impressed.  Anyway, it has finally gone and at least I was able to use some of the time to make a start on clearing out one of the rooms.

Why is nothing easy?