Ticket machine checks for disabled

A MONTH after the introduction of disabled car parking charges ticket machines are being checked to see if they are accessible for wheelchair users.It follows complaints from disabled people that the ticket machines in Great Yarmouth borough council car parks are too high to reach.

A MONTH after the introduction of disabled car parking charges ticket machines are being checked to see if they are accessible for wheelchair users.

It follows complaints from disabled people that the ticket machines in Great Yarmouth borough council car parks are too high to reach.

Councillors voted to introduce the charges, which came into force at the beginning of August, to improve the upkeep of disabled parking bays.

Multiple sclerosis sufferer Keith Bright, from Gorleston, is amongst the wheelchair users struggling to use the machines.

Mr Bright, 48, has been largely confined to a wheelchair for the last four years and can only walk short distances at home using a frame.

On a recent trip into town he stumbled and cut himself while trying to stick a parking ticket on his car window.

Most Read

He said: “It is even more complicated because the car number needs to be put in, the buttons are very small and it is difficult putting tickets in the window.

“Fiddling with change is a nuisance, because I struggle to use my hands and if I fell over I wouldn't be able to get up again.

“I have to drive into town because the buses on the route are not wheelchair accessible. This is reducing the number of times we go to Yarmouth, we are shopping in Gorleston instead or going to Lowestoft where there is free parking for disabled people.

He added: “It is difficult to concentrate if I am doing different things and the ticket machines are not near the disabled parking spaces.

“I think the council should give disabled people permits to use the residents parking zones which are not that busy during the day.

Mr Bright's wife Glenys is also registered disabled and cannot drive because she suffers from double vision.

Government guidelines state that the height of the coin slot should be between 1000 and 1400mm. Mr Bright measured the machine at Palmers car park and claims the it was 50mm above the maximum height and the button to issue tickets 1530mm from the ground.

A council spokesman said: “Great Yarmouth Borough Council's access officer is in the process of undertaking a study into the height of parking machines. He is due to report back to the parking services manager this week with his recommendations.

“Regulations under the Disability Discrimination Act states that all pay and display car parks must have wide disabled bays at a ratio of 5pc to the total number of spaces.

“The decision to charge for disabled parking was made by the full council following a report by the Disabled Parking Executive Advisory Group. It was felt that charging would assist the council with the upkeep of these bays.”