independent

Monday 22 April 2019

Abuse of parking spaces a frustration for disabled drivers

Caroline Horan, access officer, Wexford County Council; Liz Stanley, Wexford County Council; Cllr Pip Breen, Sgt Kevin Bolger, roads policing unit, Cllr Johnny Mythen and Selina Power, service support officer, Irish Wheelchair Association
Caroline Horan, access officer, Wexford County Council; Liz Stanley, Wexford County Council; Cllr Pip Breen, Sgt Kevin Bolger, roads policing unit, Cllr Johnny Mythen and Selina Power, service support officer, Irish Wheelchair Association

Esther Hayden

There was plenty of helpful advice dispensed at the Parking Permits and Spaces information afternoon last week.

The event which was organised by the Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) was held in its Outreach Centre in Ballycanew.

The information session was held after the very successful 'Back in 5' campaign and 'Make Way' campaign highlighting the difficulties disabled drivers face when they haven't access to designated parking spaces.

At the event people heard that one of the principal issues which frustrated disabled people is the abuse of disabled parking spaces by members of the general public.

Selina Power of the IWA said: 'For many of our members simple tasks such as going shopping or meeting a friend for a coffee is an ongoing challenge because too often these spaces are occupied by people who do not have a disability, many of whom can often be very aggressive to people who wish to highlight their inappropriate parking.'

The purpose of the 'Parking Permits and Spaces' event was to raise local awareness on all matters relating to Disabled Parking Permits and Spaces. The matters addressed on the day were: how to apply for a disabled parking permit; the appropriate use of disabled parking permits; the impact on permit holders of misuse of disable parking permits and spaces; the need for additional spaces in Gorey, Enniscorthy and Wexford.

The event was attended by Cllr Johnny Mythen and Cllr Pip Breen representing Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council Keith Doyle and Mary McGee from the Wexford branch of the NCBI (National Council for the Blind Ireland).

The speakers on the day were Selina Power, Service support officer in Wexford IWA, Sergeant Kevin Bolger from the Gorey Garda Station, Wexford Access Officer Caroline Horan and Liz Scanlon from the Gorey County Council.

The event was successful and produced positive feedback. Moving forward the Gardaí, local councillors, the local authorities and the IWA aim to collaborate together on addressing the issues discussed.

If you have a concern about another person's parking permit or a disabled parking spot being used incorrectly, please report it to your local Gardaí. There is a free text service in Gorey, you can text 'nab' and your concern to 51772. The local county councils are working on bringing this service to Wexford and other locations.

Gorey Guardian

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