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Disabled parking objections
12:00pm Wednesday 9th January 2013 in Letters
I OBJECT to the proposed closure of the car parking facilities in Market Place and Guildhall Square, Salisbury.
Having recently moved to the area, I have watched with mounting unease the arguments unfolding in the Journal around this parking facility.
It is my understanding that all local authorities have a statutory duty to provide parking for disabled drivers within a reasonable distance of local amenities.
Given that the criteria for being issued a blue badge is that the person is unable to walk more than 80 metres either aided or unaided, how can the council be leaving disabled people in the position where they would have to walk at least 250 metres, should all of the seven disabled parking spaces be occupied, along narrow, uneven pavements to reach the square, banks and shops?
Surely the ‘powers that be’, having set these laws, are now ensuring that they are adhered to? It is one thing for a council to argue that these facilities cannot be provided, but to actually remove them? It defies belief. Of course, not all people with mobility problems have blue badges.
My recent visits to the city have shown me that there is a large population of quite elderly people, many with clear mobility problems.
Could it not be that these people will be forced to shop elsewhere if it is made so very difficult for them to access facilities in Salisbury?
Although retired, I do not, at this time, have a mobility problem. That does not prevent me from feeling for those who do. We all need to remember that our health is not guaranteed. One day it might be me, or you, struggling to walk. Should that day come, and I find myself unable to access the town centre easily, I will remember that once, we had very adequate central parking, and I will know who to blame if it is no longer there.
One other point: Why does Salisbury need a large empty space at its centre on five out of seven days in the week? I have no doubt that, should this come about, it will quickly be filled with rowdy young people, skateboarding, playing football and horsing around, as young people do. Maybe not such a bad thing to give them somewhere to meet, but I really don’t think that is what the council has in mind for its piazza.
JANET KRAFT, Fovant
LIKE many other people we are tired of the council wishing to waste more money on the Market Place when the streets and pavements of Salisbury are in dire need of refurbishment.
Just take a look at the back streets where many elderly residents live. Some are disabled.
Imagine negotiating pavements in a wheelchair, or a visually impaired person using a white stick, or mothers pushing prams around the ghastly streets to do their shopping.
DP and BL WATSON, Alderbury