Wednesday 16 January 2019

Gorey driver's anger over unlawful use of disabled parking spots

No parking space makes life difficult for Fred

Fred Dinsmore from Courtown
Fred Dinsmore from Courtown

Sara Gahan

A wheelchair user has hit out at motorists who unlawfully park in disabled parking spots in Gorey town.

Fred Dinsmore of Courtown, who is a World Wheelchair Nine Ball Pool Champion, was born with Spina Bifida and said 'it is incredible how often wheelchair/disabled parking is abused'.

'Probably won't be popular but I do genuinely believe that if clamping or tow away happened as they should people abusing the spaces would think twice,' said Fred.

Having just returned from the European Championships in Veldhoven, the saying 'it's only for a minute' is something Fred hears quite often, but he says it's irrelevant as spaces should be free for when they are needed by wheelchair users.

Fred said: 'The main reason we need them is, obviously they're generally closer to the door, but the most important thing from my point of view is the spaces are bigger to allow the door to open fully and get my chair out easily which isn't possible in a "normal" space.'

Another frustrating occurrence that has happened to Fred numerous times is motorists blocking the box on spaces, which means it makes it quite difficult, sometimes impossible, to either get into the car or get the wheelchair in.

Local councillor Malcolm Byrne has described motorists as 'selfish and inconsiderate' for unlawfully parking in disabled spots. He pointed out that many places in Gorey town continue to be occupied by car and van drivers who only 'stop for a minute'.

'This means that a disabled driver or passenger may not be able to use that spot at the time,' said Cllr Byrne. As Chair of Gorey District three years ago, the Gorey councillors had led a push to improve disabled parking facilities around the town and they now have called for a review of disabled facilities for further improvements.'

Cllr Byrne said it is, unfortunately, a minority who disregard the requirements of those with a disability.

'I have been abused for challenging some of those car and van drivers in the past, but I will continue to do it,' said Cllr Byrne. 'Don't don't seem to appreciate the problems that they are causing. I am still getting complaints from those with difficulty that parking spots are occasionally abused.'

Wexford County Council has a texting service that will alert the Warden if someone is wrongfully in a disabled parking bay and Cllr Byrne encourages those who observe the abuse to use it or for outside of working hours call the Gardaí.

Gorey Guardian