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My Disabled Rights in the Community.

GordonmrlnGordonmrln Member Posts: 35 Courageous
edited November 2017 in Disabled people
Firstly as a current member and contributor to the Scope Community chat section. I would like to raise a couple of points of interest that I have noticed. And think could benefit the disabled viewers of this website and our disabled community in general. Although the site has a number of helpful subject headings. I've noticed that there is not a section that covers "Disabled rights in the Community". When I say this I'm looking at our rights to have or lead as normal a life as possible. For me personally it is about the high street in the town I live in. Although I've tried to make my voice heard with the local council, I have just been given the brush off. Where they say they are looking into the issue and are awaiting the report from another department. Which just keeps on going around in circles. So the point I was asking for my council to look at upgrading, was the blue badge disabled parking spots on the high street. The high street is a fair length with shops, 3 banks, chemist, post office, bakeries and cafes, town hall, 2 public houses. Plus more outlets, so you can get the idea that the high street in my town (Lockerbie) is quite long and busy. However, after all this there are only 2 on street disabled parking places next to each other at the top end of the high street. Which is not only very low number of blue badge parking places, but if you compare to the normal parking places on the high street. You would be looking at a figure of around 15 to 1 in comparison. Now not only are we the disabled well in the minority, but you will often find at least once to twice a day, I repeat a day. That at least one of the disabled spots will have a commercial vehicle in at some point of the day. I have even photoed a large commercial vehicle in the disabled blue badge spot, and gone into the shop. Spoke to the shop owner, and told her in an angry manner that she should get the driver, to move his truck before I contact the police and his employers. He was out like a shot, and moved it instantly. I then informed the shop owner that if this practice continued I would report her shop (fish & chip shop + cafe) to the council. She insured it would not happen again, that was a lie. It is still ongoing. Now I am trying to build up a photo file of all commercial vehicles that are parking in the blue badge spots. In the hope of getting, A) the council to do something to stop this action and, B) the police to take action, as I have never seen a commercial vehicle with a ticket on its screen. Saying that though, I have very rarely seen a police officer walking the high street.                                                                                                                                                                                  So this is where my question comes in for a section on know your disabled rights on the Scope website. As I would like to know what my rights are as a disabled blue badge holder, with regards to parking. Where should I go to complain about the abuse of the very limited disabled parking spots on the high street of Lockerbie. By the commercial vehicle drivers and the shopkeepers that they deliver to. Who would know about the blue badge parking right outside their shop. Then who do I report to about the lack of police support and their lack of duty to enforce the parking rules regarding blue/badge spaces and commercial vehicles. Also is their any ruling regarding the number of blue/badge spaces that the council must provide regarding the high street and the limited access spaces for disabled shoppers. 

And where/who or which department are liable for dealing with such issues. Can we as a disabled individuals insert any pressure on the grounds of, Disabled discrimination and the lack of adequate parking places for the less able bodied. 

Another big issue I have with my high street is, the lack of wheelchair support. When you look at the high street from the start at the main crossroads in Lockerbie. Which are pedestrian crossing maintained, they are in fact the only safe place a wheelchair user can cross from one side of the high street to the other side. So an example of how poor this high street is. If you are outside the town hall, on the high street and would like to go to the library. Which is easily seen from the town hall, and if you were an able bodied person. You could cross the road, if clear and walk to the library in about 150 yards approx, and it would take only a few minuets. But to do the same by wheelchair, you would have to travel the full length of the high street down to the pedestrian crossing lights. Where you can cross safely without the possibility of being hit by a vehicle. You then would have to go back up the other side of the high street to gain access to the library. This could take at a guess around 10-15 minuets, and is several hundreds if not thousands of meters from one side to the other. Now again any able bodied person can just cross the road at any point as long as its clear to do so. But this is not an option for many disabled and feeble elderly people. Another issue for the council to address is of putting in an extra set of pedestrian crossing lights at the other end of the high street. This again is something that I feel is a discrimination of the disabled, forcing them to use and have only one access point of safe road crossing. Where the able bodied can cross wherever they please. So what are our rights in the community, do we have any, can we force the council to take action, are any laws being broken, are any civil rights being abused and not enforced.  

We surely have the right to have more than one safe place to cross a high street, if this was in London, Glasgow, or Edinburgh then this would be dealt with urgently. Or if it was needed outside or by a school, again the council would be their with knobs on. Will you then help me in trying to bring around a change to Lockerbie and the unsafe and less disabled friendly high street. That is if you can. I feel that I would be speaking on behalf of all disabled users and shoppers of the high street. That these points I have raised are indeed genuine valid reasons that demand a change to be made. I also hope that you might include a regular spot entitled "Your rights in the community" that will give all disabled viewers an access point to ask about their rights when they go out and about in the community. I hope this section could pass on useful information and advice for us the disabled to know our rights and what we are allowed and should accept as our rights in society. There are a lot of us that have no idea of what we are entitled to or not, also there is a lot of misinformation that could lead to arguments and controversy when it comes to disabled rights. 

For example what are the rights about access for wheelchair users into any commercial or professional building, what are the rights about disabled toilet facilities, when a shop or store, or any other building used by the general public, that has access to toilet facilities for able bodied but not disabled bodied, is this wrong, is this illegal. Also what about stores that use pedestrian walking space to place and display goods in store on the floor. Restricting yet again the accessibility around the store, not only making it none wheelchair friendly but also creating a fire/trip hazard within the store. Again what are our rights to be able to move around a store in a wheelchair with ease and not restrictions. Another major issue for disabled and especially wheelchair users is just trying to get through the front door as there are a very large number of shops, businesses, stores, and companies, that have no automated access at the entrance of their property/ buildings. This then forces the less able bodied or wheelchair users to wait for some kind passer by to aid the access into the property, but what are our rights, do we have any, should their be automated access to the property. Where do we go to find out the answers to these questions and loads of other questions of a similar nature or that are linked to the question "What are our rights" ? 

I do hope that you can and will help me and others that are in a similar position. I have started trying to make a change by contacting my local council, but its knowing what to say and how to say it, as I'm Dyslexic this is often a big issue. But if there were online letters that you can download and use to start your complaint or raise attention to your concerns about the disabled issues then this would be a huge help for me and others. I have also tried contacting my local MSP to try to get some person of influence to come onboard and help fight our causes, I know some politicians like to have some local good cause that they can claim of trying to help. Although I have not yet heard back, and I treat all politicians as they are looking out for their own agenda, which is usually the case as they look after their own interests and that of their party first, so I won't hold my breath on this one, if he does get in touch and will help then I will drop you a line. But in the meantime if you can help me with the issues I've raised and with my concerns about a regular feature, then I would be most grateful. I would also be prepared to offer my services in helping with the regular slot, It would help me by allowing me to become more involved, after recently becoming a widower, to have something to focus on and allowing me to become part of the online community that try to help others in a similar position. obviously I would know that my advice would be checked and vetted, but it would give me the focus of trying to research and find information for others to use and find helpful. If I can help in some way then I am willing to give it a try, so thank you for all your help and assistance you provide.  


Thank You. Gordy.

Replies

  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,258 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi Gordy and welcome

    What is the status of your high street ?
    Does it have yellow lines ?
    Is there a ban on loading and unloading ?

    CR

    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • Pippa_ScopePippa_Scope Member Posts: 5,856 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Gordonmrln,

    Thank you for sharing this with us. It's been really insightful to hear your thoughts and experiences. As you say, disability rights are an important issue and something that can never be addressed enough: there are countless things in society that disabled people have to fight for when they shouldn't have to. 

    In terms of disability rights, this is something that we like to consider spans across many of our discussion categories, rather than something that could be contained in just one. For example, the excellent points you raised about parking places could also be relevant to our motability, blue badges and disabled motoring group, where many users have shared their experiences of similar issues.

    It's great that you're using your experiences to try and create social change, as this really can make a difference. If you continue to do so, and keep us updated about the individual issues you encounter, we will do our best to support and advise you and direct you to the right places. I hope this helps and thanks again for your contribution! 
  • GordonmrlnGordonmrln Member Posts: 35 Courageous
    Dear CR, There are some double yellow lines that are only part of the road as you approach the corners, and also a couple of bus stops, but not the whole of the high street. If I was to say how much in yardage was yellow lines I would say about 100 yards on each side, and NO there are no loading or unloading restrictions. One of the problems is that where I live is in Lockerbie, that is covered by Scottish Laws and England laws as well. So we have different issues that cover English laws up here in Scotland. Thank You CR. 
    Dear Pippa, I thank you for your words of support, however I still find that I have no clear answer to my questions. Like are the council responsible for the placing of disabled parking places and if so is there any given number that must be in place. Because for the amount of cars that are allowed to park on the high street as normal parking is at least 15+ to 1, So for every Disabled car parking space which there are 2 only then there are 30 + parking spaces for normal car users. Now for me just 2 disabled car parking spaces for a town the size of Lockerbie, and a high street as busy as our high street is, is beyond comprehension. I have looked around Lockerbie and the amount of disabled that live in and around Lockerbie is quite a large number, and the other places that provide disabled parking make the council look like they don't care at all about the disabled. Tesco have approx 20 disabled parking bays, Home bargains have 3 dedicated spaces, factory outlet has 4 parking places, Our medical centre has 5 parking places and there are  2 disabled places outside the Library. Also in the off street main shoppers car park there are 2 dedicated places in this public car park. So although there are other places that do cater more for the disabled driver than the council does on the high street. It is in fact the high street that you tend to use the most, or I do as a disabled driver, I need to collect my prescriptions from the chemist, I also need to use the post office to top up my electricity card, and if I have a banking issue. all of these places I need are all on the high street. And 2 disabled parking places just don't cut it for me. So can you tell me is there any laws covering how many parking places the council need to provide and are the council in not providing a reasonable number of parking places for the disabled, in breach of any Disabled Discrimination Act, because I do feel I am being discriminated against compared to able bodied parking places on the high street. How can I go about bringing about a change. It is quite clear that a change is needed.

    Thank you I will keep on trying to fight for disabled rights.
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