Friday, 28 March 2014

Universal rules…

I mentioned in my previous post that parking in London is extremely difficult, even if you are disabled. Most people think that Blue Badge rules are pretty easy to understand but that is simply not the case. In the borough of Islington for example, badge holders can park for an unlimited time in permit bays or on double yellows yet in the borough of Westminster, I would get a ticket. Confusing or what? It’s no wonder that I mistakenly thought I could leave my car on double yellow lines for longer than 3 hours in St. Albans last year. You can in North London but not in my home city, just 22 miles away.

The need for universal rules when it comes to using a blue badge becomes more obvious everytime I visit the Heart Hospital in Westmoreland Street (situated in the borough of Westminster). On my past few visits, my dad has had to wait in the car for a couple of hours because there are only four or so places for disabled people to park. The rest are off limits. However, the borough of Camden allows badge holders to park on permit bays and double yellows outside Great Ormond Street Hospital. There’s just no consistency.

That’s why whenever I visit places I’m unfamiliar with (such as Fulham for football), I always check with a traffic warden before leaving the car. The signs are as unclear as the actual rules themselves. The problem is parking enforcement officers are visible when it is time to give someone a ticket but disappear from sight when you want to ask a question. Almost like they do it to annoy us.

Another issue is that some boroughs have specific badges you can apply for if you’re disabled and live in the area. There are certain bays where just the normal badge isn’t enough. A green badge for example is needed as well. I don ‘t get this as the Blue Badge can be used across Europe (we used it in Germany and Spain) but it’s not recognised in some parts of London.

Blue Badges do come with a booklet telling you where to park but all rules come with a warning that it may differ according to geographical location. That is clearly not helpful to anyone. I just wish a committee would agree a set of rules, which can be applied nationally. I can park in a permit holders bay when I visit the Emirates tomorrow so it’s stupid that I won’t be able to next week when I go up to Everton.

Bye for now! 

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