Friday 24 November 2017

Paralysed mother paints own disabled parking bay at daughter's school

Claire Lomas of her in a disabled parking bay she painted herself outside her daughter's school Credit: Claire Lomas/PA Wire
Claire Lomas of her in a disabled parking bay she painted herself outside her daughter's school Credit: Claire Lomas/PA Wire

Alexander Britton

Paralysed fundraiser Claire Lomas said she was forced to paint her own disabled parking bay outside her daughter's school after her local council did not get round to sorting the job for nearly six months.

Ms Lomas, who walked the London Marathon route in 17 days in a specially adapted suit in 2012, asked Leicestershire County Council for a bay so she could drop four-year-old daughter Maisie at the gates of Great Dalby Primary School.

The request, which was backed by the school, was first made in April, but as the new school year started this week no lines had been painted.

Ms Lomas, 35, of Eye Kettleby, near Melton Mowbray, headed down to the school armed with paint and stencils and decided to draw her own bay on Monday.

She said: "I had been asking and asking over the summer but nothing had been done.

"It was my daughter's first day at school and it was a big day for her and me, but I had to drop her off with another parent at the bottom of the hill near the school. I wanted to see her in but I couldn't.

"So I rang the council on Monday again and asked when the bay would be painted and they said a date hadn't been set and I told her I would go and paint it myself."

It took her and a friend 40 minutes to paint the lines outside the school in pink and yellow, colours chosen by Maisie.

She said: "People keep on telling me I should invoice the council. It took us 40 minutes laughing around to paint the lines which the council couldn't do in six months."

The lines are due to be painted before the end of the week, Leicestershire County Council said.

Ms Lomas, who was paralysed after a horse riding accident in 2007 and raises funds for spinal injury charities, added: "It's quite funny now that it's being sorted, but it was pretty annoying. I mean, it's not a secret when the school year starts so they should know the bay would have been needed by then."

Andrew Raistrick, headteacher of Great Dalby Primary School, said they were entirely supportive of the bay being added.

He said: "We get the information about new starters in April and as soon as we knew Claire's daughter would be attending the school, we set the work in progress.

"The council came and did a site visit, marked out where the bay was going to be, but just haven't got round to putting the paint on."

A spokesman for Leicestershire County Council said: "We would like to apologise for the delay in painting this disabled bay and the inconvenience this has caused Claire and Maisie during the first weeks of the school term."

Press Association

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