Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Bad weekend…

The past weekend wasn’t good at all. A trip up to Merseyside was a waste of time for all us travelling away fans as Arsenal suffered yet another pasting, losing 3-0 to Everton (for anyone who’s interested, I’ll share my thoughts on the defeat on ATeamEffort over the next few days). Not only was the match terrible but we also got a parking ticket when we visited Blackpool on the Saturday. My mum wanted to cry but I was not surprised and found it weirdly quite fitting as the Penalty Charge Notice perfectly illustrated my recent post regarding street parking (

The match kicked off at 13.30 on Sunday so instead of getting up early in the morning, we decided to book into a hotel. Experience has taught us that Holiday Inn Express’ provide the most suitable facilities for disabled people at a reasonable price. However, it was Grand National in Aintree on Saturday so either there was no room at any inn in the Liverpool area or the prices had rocketed. So we booked into the HIExpress in Preston, which is not far from Blackpool and was only half an hour away from Goodison Park.

We didn’t arrive at the hotel until about 2pm on Saturday, just in time to check in. After unloading our luggage, ‘Vegas of the North’ was our next destination. It might sound soppy but I have many fond memories of Blackpool from visiting throughout my childhood. My last visit came back in 2011 and that was also special as Emmanuel Eboue gave me his scoring boots after Arsenal won 3-1. However, I shall now associate the place with giving disabled people parking tickets although that may be harsh as it more the actual system’s fault.

As I said in a post last month, the rules regarding Blue Badge parking are not clear at all because they change according to geographical location. In Islington (where the Emirates stadium is), disabled car owners can park for an unlimited time in Resident Permit bays. The same rule applied in Blackpool the last time we were up there. Apparently, it no longer does as we soon discovered. Some readers might be thinking that is down to the North/South divide but it is simply not as badge holders can use permit bays only 59 miles down the road in Liverpool.

The St. Albans District Access Group met on Monday and I mentioned the ticket I got. A visually impaired lady told me that she was also caught out in Blackpool the other week as she also believed Blue Badge holders could park on Permit Bays. This again highlights the need for universal rules as it not only me who’s being tripped up (excuse the awful joke). I do have a book with all the rules in but it says that it may vary depending on the local authority. Not helpful.

Bye for now!

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